At its zenith, Master P's No Limit Records was cranking out albums like a factory and collecting plaques that matched the gold and platinum tanks that dangled from P's chains. His business plan was simple, succinct and, to some, foolish.
These days, however, P is hailed as a pioneer for his decision to flood the market — beginning in the early 1990s — with a steady stream of his own albums, as well as projects by Tru, Mia X and a bevy of New Orleans talent. His business acumen helped pave the way for Cash Money, Young Money, Grand Hustle and a host of Southern labels.
For his groundbreaking impact, P will be among those feted at the 2010 "VH1 Hip Hop Honors: The Dirty South,", joining Timbaland, Jermaine Dupri, Rap-A-Lot Records founder J Prince, Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew and Outkast producers Organized Noize. The show, set to be taped at Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom, airs Monday, June 7, at 9 p.m. ET on VH1.
"When it comes down to putting out records, people are afraid. They say, 'I don't want to put out too many records,' " P told MTV News when we caught up with him during rehearsals for "Hip Hop Honors" on Wednesday (June 2). The No Limit founder recalled that his aggressive output was controversial at the time, but he had his reasons for pushing forward.
"My thing was, with No Limit, when you're hot, you're hot, you give 'em whatever you can give 'em," P said. "That's what I teach my family: When you got 'em, give it to 'em, 'cause when you got a fanbase, feed that fanbase. There's no such thing as too much music. We accomplished something that nobody did, to be able to sell 75 million records independently and to be honored for hip-hop is a blessing and lets you know we been dong the right thing."
Master P will be celebrated with performances by his son Romeo, Silkk the Shocker, Trina, Mystikal and Gucci Mane, with Kid Capri manning the turntables during the medley.
Meanwhile, P has been revving up for the next incarnation of No Limit. He's dubbed himself the "Archie Manning of hip-hop," with his two rapper sons, Romeo and Valentino, standing in for Eli and Peyton. And P's younger brother Silkk is still carrying the torch; his next release is due this summer.
Silkk told MTV News he's had the best seat from which to witness his brother's success, and getting to pay him back with a performance is "amazing."
"With me, first of all, shouts out to him, 'cause I got to see greatness for a long time," Silkk said. "It's very good to finally see him get honored for it. And then, I think a lot of people out there also appreciate what he's done. I perform all the time, but to actually perform and give back to him and show him what he means to us, that's amazing for me."
Whose "Hip Hop Honors" performance are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!