With over 25 years in the game, Master P has done just about everything there is to do in hip-hop, from selling platinum solo albums to running his own label and procuring new superstar talent. Now he's cultivating a fresh young roster for No Limit with rappers like Ace B, Moe Roy and Marqus Clae. Just last week, P even announced he'd signed R&B singer Paloma Ford to the famed record label. It looks like he's trying to rebuild the empire that dominated rap in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Recently, the No Limit leader stopped by XXL to talk about playing in the upcoming All-Star Game in New Orleans, wanting to coach in the NBA next, Louisiana rappers like Kevin Gates and YoungBoy Never Broke Again (a.k.a. NBA YoungBoy) and much more.

XXL: What have you been busy with lately? 

Master P: I’ve been busy with Sugar Skull Rum, the best-tasting rum on the planet. Just grinding, music. Marqus Clae is one of the dopest young MCs I’ve ever met. Working on Ace B project, Moe Roy’s project King Roy. Blaq N Mild been going crazy with the beats, J Slugg… just having fun.

The liquor is a great move. There are a lot of rappers getting into the business, whether it’s Diddy with Ciroc… 

They got vodka. 2017 is the year of the rum. We’re the first on it.

How’d you decide to get into rum? 

The taste. I had to have something that tastes good, and when you have something that tastes good, it’s a good product and a good brand, it looks good… but the taste is what’s most important. My message to the people is to drink responsibly. This is about celebrating, and this brand is different because it’s also about giving back to the community and rebuilding the community. It’s a lifestyle, but we’re doing our part. That’s what’s most important thing for me, to have a brand that cares about the community, the people and the culture.

You’re also getting into the marijuana business, right? 

Yeah, Master P’s Trees. It’s legal cannabis and it started out for medical reasons to sell to pharmacies. One of my guys, Boswell, started it, we’ve been friends for a long time, we grew up together. And as weed got legal, I jumped into this with him. It’s one of the biggest brands in the country right now. It’s so big, bootleggers are bootlegging the Master P’s Trees brand. It’s the No. 1 brand right now in California. People are taking taste tests with the Snoop Dogg brand and the Master P brand. [Snoop] definitely came up with some great product for people who are into that.

You’re gonna play in the celebrity all-star game in New Orleans this year, correct? 

It’s gonna be one of two MVPs for the celebrity game in New Orleans. I don’t know what Kevin Hart think, he might as well just stay home because it’s gonna be all bad for him this year. It’s in my city and I don’t mind throwing him around, like, "Man you too small to get the MVP!" It’s either gonna be me or [my son] Romeo. I can’t see no one else. Kevin Hart, just chill right now. Don’t do this to yourself. It’s gonna get real physical in New Orleans.

After this, I’ve been coaching basketball for about 15 years, I don’t know if people knew that, but I coached Demar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings. I’ve been coaching them since seventh grade, I’ve got an AAU team [the P. Miller Ballers] so basketball saved my life. I feel like my next move is to be a professional basketball coach, to coach in the NBA. Maybe I might go coach in the D-League or something. I just love it, and I tell people I feel like I could help a lot of the players because if the coach doesn’t make as much money as the players, the players don’t respect them. So we’ll probably have the best team in the NBA! Whether I’m coaching LeBron [James] or whoever, it doesn’t matter. It’s gonna be a different breed, a different locker room, a different bench.

You know who I like? I like Gregg Popovich, the way he coaches. I feel like all the players respect him, and we need more of that. I’ve paid my dues. I played in college, I played in the NBA, I played in the CBA, I played in the D-League, I’ve played in almost every league there is. Now it’s time for me to take my expertise to the coaching side. I love helping the next generation, and I feel like I can help a lot of guys in the NBA because a lot of coaches haven’t been through things players have been through, and I’ve been there. Coming from nothing, being able to make money, knowing how to deal with different situations where a lot of kids get lost because this is their first time, their first rodeo, and it changes your mindset knowing you got all this stuff quick. You don’t listen to nobody, so I feel like we gotta get this generation to where they’re willing to listen, knowing that if they respect you and you’ve done something, they can relate to you.

You’ve always made New Orleans part of who you are, and there’s a lot of good things happening in Louisiana at large. I saw you giving praise to Kevin Gates and NBA YoungBoy recently. How do you feel about the music scene in Louisiana right now?

To be honest with you, we’re hurting right now. I know Kevin Gates will be getting out real soon and I feel like he’s gonna add a lot of value to Louisiana. And then if my brother C-Murder get out, I feel like the brand is about to be strong. My young boys, Ace B, he’s on his game, Blaq N Mild is one of the dopest producers I’ve ever met, and J Slugg, and these are all people from Louisiana and New Orleans.

I feel like the game is about to change. It’s like a puzzle, and it’s also timing. With the All-Star Game in New Orleans, you’re gonna get a chance to see all the talent. As far as Houston and the South, haven’t seen a lyricist like [Marqus Clae] in a long time.

How’d you sign Marqus Clae?

I met him at an airport, him and his mom. And you know how it’s like, “No, not again. Not another rapper. I’m gonna go into the Platinum Club and just lay down.” But it just so happened it was closed [laughs]. It was late at night and I was catching a midnight flight to go see my mom in Houston.

I see this lady staring at me and I’m like, “What’s up?” She said, “My son raps. All we’ve been talking about is you.” And it’s like, here we go again. So I said, “Where’s your son?” And she said, “Oh, he’s right over here. Can you meet him?” So I go take a picture and she’s like, “Can you listen to one record?” And I’m like… why is that Platinum room not open? [Laughs]

That’s my first time listening to someone’s music, listening to one song and thinking this kid is special. He truly is, he’s one of them great ones, like the Kendrick Lamars and the J. Coles. His work ethic will take him somewhere else, and he’s so young. He was just 16 last week but he’s got a grown person soul like Lil Wayne.

I heard Mac might be getting home soon.

If Mac get out, things gon’ change. Mac was like Nas back in the day. He was the only guy that I said you could put up against Nas from the south. That’s my homeboy and it’s sad, the things he had to go through, but it’s gonna be a happy day for him and his family once he gets out of his situation. We missed a whole generation of greatness. He was probably one of the best rappers to ever come to No Limit.

You mentioned Lil Wayne. You sent him a verse for Tha Carter V. What’s gonna happen to that?

I don’t know. I thought it was gonna be something special, but what we did with that song, bringing New Orleans back together, it was one of those type of records.

And you’re throwing a benefit concert in New Orleans for All-Star Weekend. 

It’s about helping get people back in their homes after the hurricane. We just had a bad hurricane from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge families were hurt worse than New Orleans families, so the benefit concert is about getting a lot of these elderly people back in their homes and helping clean the mold and mildew. It’s bigger than just a concert.

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