Master P, the iconic founder of No Limit Records in the 1990s, has been named president of urban music in the United States at technology-first record label, distributor and rights management company Cinq Music. The MC and entrepreneur born Percy Miller will be leading the brand-new division for Cinq, which has seen much of its success of late coming through its Latin music operations, which recently received a $20 million infusion of cash from parent company GoDigital Media Group.
“Master P is an iconic artist/entrepreneur that will help Cinq and all its artists maximize the value of their intellectual property,” said Cinq Music co-founder/president Barry Daffurn in a statement. “Many artists only concentrate on their creativity, but Master P saw his work through the eyes of an entrepreneur.”
In his new role, P says he’ll be focusing on “untapped talent” that the company can identify and cultivate early in their careers and provide a platform for them to kickstart their music independently. “I’m looking for the best talent and the talent could be raw, but they gotta be hard workers,” he tells Billboard about what his approach in identifying talent will be. “They gotta believe in their product and they gotta invest their time just like we’re gonna invest and money. They gotta really want it. We’re looking for those diamonds in the rough.”
Master P’s relationship with GoDigital Media and its CEO Jason Peterson goes back a decade, when the former No Limit chief entrusted Peterson with a five-year deal to digitally distribute his catalog, which helped give rise to Cinq’s business model. Peterson says that bringing Master P in to head up the newly-launched urban division brings things “full circle” for the company. “He recognized a kindred entrepreneur and liked my vision that digital distribution of music was the future,” Peterson said in a statement. “[He] will be an evangelist and connector, helping us sign more artists. He brings a wealth of experience and a deep artist network.”
Master P’s No Limit Records, based out of New Orleans, was one of the most successful independent record companies in hip-hop history, helping pioneer, alongside Cash Money Records, the growth of regional hip-hop from the South as it expanded across the country. No Limit helped launch the careers of P, Mystikal, Soulja Slim, C-Murder, Silkk the Shocker and Mac and, later, became the recording home of Snoop Dogg after he left Death Row Records. In an interview, Master P says he hopes to bring that independent, do-it-yourself spirit to his new role at Cinq.
“I think it’s great that we have a platform like this where we can develop talent and not have to wait until somebody says, ‘Oh, you’re ready,’ or some big executives sit in the office and say they’re not gonna invest no money in you until you do this and that and that,” he says. “You can get eyeballs on you now through social media and that is gonna decide how talented you are or how your music is accepted by your fanbase. It’s a different way of breaking records now.”
“As a data-driven music company, we’ve built a platform to help artists who have demonstrated traction in the market,” Peterson expands in an interview. “We have nearly 50 million unique views a month on the network doing nearly 1 billion streams a month, so that’s a big audience that we can market to. It’s a big platform to help us break singles and really take artists who have shown traction and put more gasoline on that fire.”
“Hip-hop has changed the game; it’s one of the lead genres of music right now and maybe 20 years ago people didn’t think hip-hop was gonna last for five years,” Master P says. “To me, artists are independently able to be their own boss and their own business through the system that we have created. I feel like nobody else is gonna be able to share that information with they artists, or want to, but we embrace that. We want the artists to see the bigger picture and I think back in the day record companies didn’t think like that.”