Curating a celebration of Rap, the Bullseye with Jesse Thorn podcast is using the month of September to recognize various rappers who have impacted Hip-Hop's culture. In his latest episode, Jesse Thorn sits down with Master P to talk about about the ample successes and losses he's experienced throughout his career.
Master P may be the first rapper to ever pull up to an interview with cereal in hand. Promoting his and Snoop Dogg's new cereal brand, Snoop Cereal, the two rappers have brought the world the first Black-owned cereal brand.
"We gotta' market and promote our brands. This is the first Black-owned cereal company. We definitely making history, me and Snoop," he said. "Man it's a blessing because we look at breakfast food, we never got an opportunity we always ate cereal, and growing up in poverty to be able to own our own cereal company, to be able to sell to national distributions is incredible."
Touching a bit on the inspiration behind the brand, Master P said "me and Snoop grew up on WIC, so we used to get the free cereal, and now to be able to have cereal that we could have kids from WIC eat our products and it's cool, it taste good."
Growing up in New Orleans with his grandparents while his mother lived in the Bay Area he recalls bouncing back and forth "all the time." With his grandparents, 16 people lived in a three-bedroom project apartment and he routinely slept on the floor. But while things may have been rough, "I was thankful to be able to live in a project apartment," he says. "Even though I didn't have a bed it motivated me to work and go out there and do what I needed to do."
So, he did exactly that. Eventually moving to The Bay full-time, he began to pursue music. But unlike many other artists, making music wasn't always something he was interested in. He was an athlete first and originally got his start when his grandmother would ask him to deejay her fish frys. Truthfully, he "didn't even think hip-hop would be around this long."
Inspired by southern artists like Uncle Luke, 2 Live Crew, and The Geto Boys, he realized "these guys going through and they living and they able to make something better for themselves," he said, adding that "it starts being inspiring because if these guys made it, I could make it."
Around the same time he was injured and unable to play sports, his brother passed away when he was 19 years old. "I was going through it... I took that pain and I think it really got me into the music industry to where I wanted to make his name live on. So I had to start figuring out how to do something right," he shared.
Jesse asked if Master P had any angst about promoting himself as a rapper to which he responded, "I believed in who I turned out to be." However, at the time he didn't believe he was that good of a rapper. "Think about it, I live in The Bay, I'm from the south so I sound country... it was just a different game," he said. But it was this grind and sense of feeling like an outsider to the Bay Area rap scene that really pushed Master P, he explained that's what made him fall in love with it.
Check out the full podcast episode above as they also dive into how Master P now finds peace and strength in prayer.