Try and try again until you succeed, the saying goes. Hip-hop veteran and entrepreneur Master P said this was the one thing he learned in college — before dropping out.
“And I knew that first month, it’s nothing else they could teach me in school. I was already done and ready to go,” said multimillionaire Master P, who quit college after learning one thing from his business class.
Master P Studied at University of Houston
The Louisiana mogul, whose real name is Percy Miller, quit attending the University of Houston to become a rapper and businessman. He founded his own music label, No Limit Records, which sold more than 100 million records. Today, he has a net worth of $200 million.
Last month at the 2022 REVOLT Summit x AT&T in Atlanta, Master P told the audience that his power and persistence stem from his consistency. He spoke on the subject at a featured panelist on the “Assets Over Liabilities Live,” on which he was joined by “Earn Your Leisure” podcast hosts Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings.
After being taught that successful products thrive on consistency, it was then freshman Master P decided to drop out and push his creation, his music.
The One Lesson Learned
“Consistency. Just keep going, doing the same thing every day,” Master P said of the lesson he took home, adding. “I went to college, the University of Houston. I graduated in one month.”
He went on to explain, “OK, you don’t believe it. I graduated in one month. Let me tell you how. So I got into business and marketing, right? My professor said, ‘You pass this test, you gotta tell us what McDonald’s is selling.’ I said, ‘Cheeseburgers.’ The other person said, ‘Big Macs.’ Somebody else said, ‘French fries.’ We all got F’s.”
He added, “The professor said, ‘They’re selling consistency.’”
It may seem like common sense that consistency would be the key to success for any venture. But it took the professor’s explanation for Master P to have his “ah-ha” moment.
“So when I realized McDonald’s is selling consistency, I said everything that I do, I start looking at that sign — that big red sign. How they put their stuff up. So think about it, building these big brands, and they’re doing the same thing. Whatever McDonald’s you go to, you gonna get the same taste in Big Mac. That’s the consistency,” Master P said.
“We have to do that same consistency with the stuff that we believe in,” he went on. “So that’s how I graduated. The professor told me, ‘You’re probably going to make $250,000 when you graduate.’ I said, ‘No, I’m gonna make a million dollars.’”
P’s College Days
It seems Master P might have skipped over some of his college life. Most tales of Master P’s life say that he was attended Houston on an athletic scholarship. The college basketball player did drop out months into his freshman year, but he transferred to Merritt College in Oakland, California to major in business administration.
When his grandfather died, Master P inherited $10,000 and used the money to open a record store in Richmond, California, called No Limit Records And Tapes, Yahoo reported. This was the foundation for No Limit Records. He began to push mixtapes and then albums, selling them out of the trunk of his car, as the legend goes.
The Creation of No Limit
In an interview with BET, Master P explained he created No Limit to get out of poverty and pass down a legacy for his family.
Originally, Jimmy Iovine wanted to sign Master P to Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records for $1 million. But Master P felt Iovine’s offer was bad because he would not be in control of his own name brand.
Although Master P claims he had only $500 in his account, he turned down the deal and went the independent label route. He landed a historic distribution deal with Priority records in which Master P put up $200,000 to pay for marketing. “It’s called ‘putting skin in the game,’ putting your own money up first, being your own boss.” he told Yahoo. “That’s how I got the power: I put up my own marketing money.”
The deal was historic because No Limit Records reportedly retained 100 percent ownership of their master recordings and kept 85 percent of their record’s sales. Priority got a 15 percent in return for pressing and distribution.
The rest is No Limit history.
Master P’s Motto
The NOLA rapper, who has various business ventures under his belt, has said he doesn’t believe in doing business when one is desperate.
“Well, my whole motto is never do a deal when [you’re] desperate,” he said during the Revolt event.
“I think a lot of people [are] like, ‘Man, I gotta pay my bills,’ but think about it. What if you make it? And you only take $100,000 and then that surpasses who you are as talent [and] now [they’re] selling millions and millions of records. ‘Cause we have a lot of artists out here [who] are taking bad deals just because they need the money now,” he pointed out. “Look at your self-worth. Know your worth. Know your value.”