Master P on Reebok, Ownership, Generational Wealth, and Lessons Learned from Reginald Lewis

The mogul and hip-hop legend Percy Miller (!!) came on to talk about why he and ex-NBA star Baron Davis want to acquire Reebok. We also talked about his new Master P Reviews channel on YouTube, supporting Black businesses, how his strategy differs from Jay Z and Kanye West, and lessons learned from studying the late Reginald Lewis, the Wall Street banker who started the first Black-owned billion dollar company.

If you want to learn it straight from the No Limit Records legend himself, this is the episode for you.

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Overcast | Amazon | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | RSS


Host: Dan Runcie, @RuncieDan, trapital.co

Guest: Master P, @masterp


Hip-hop’s influence continues to grow. Learn how it impacts your business. Join the execs, CEOs, and moguls who read Trapital: trapital.co

Podcast Transcript

Dan Runcie
Hey, welcome to the Trapital podcast. I’m your host, Dan Runcie. Today we got the business mogul and hip hop legend Percy Miller, Master P. Welcome to the podcast.

Master P
What’s up, man? Thank you for having me.

Dan Runcie
I’m glad we can do this. And I want to start with a question that I know is on everyone’s mind, news broke that you and Baron Davis are in talks to acquire Reebok. Why does Master P want to require Reebok?

Master P
Well, I feel like it’s a brand that still have a lot of equity in it. And also, I feel like our culture helped create that brain. When you look at great players like Allen Iverson, and you look at the tennis shoe business in the clothing business for African Americans, we spend a lot of money in that industry. And I feel like it’s time to have some black owned representation to where ownership, not just the face of a product, but ownership. So I think we should be able to help our community and our culture off of putting money into brands like this. And I think this is the only way it could happen. It’d be the only way that Reebok can be successful. If it go black. And when I mean go black, I mean ownership.

Dan Runcie
I think so much about how Reebok was so strong, especially in the early 2000s. You mentioned Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal was doing this thing back then. And they also had the deals at 50 and Jay Z. What happened after that point?

Master P
Well, I think they sold to a dealer, and they got shelved, just like anything else. That happened. Somebody look at that this is competition. I feel like this is a way to revise that. And it’s almost like buying a house that has been abandoned. The only way you could get it back, right, you’re gonna have to fix it up, fix the roof, fix the inside of it. And I think that’s what this is about. Because like you say, Reebok was the great brand. Back in the days, a lot of us were the soldiers, all those different no shoes that they had, I mean, even off the basketball court. So I feel like it’s a lifestyle brand is a fashion brand. But it’s also for the millennials, the millennials will rock this if we go black.

Dan Runcie
It’s a shame too, because I look at how Adidas acquired the brand. But now Adidas is the one that has so many of the hip hop superstars and the culture with it. But Reebok was through the CrossFit phase, there’s a so many areas out of it’s being passed around, it’s a shame.

Master P
Well, you know what, this is just one of many deals. And if we able to acquire that this will be great for our culture for our peoples also, it’s about educating during this time, to let people know that we can go after big deals like this. We don’t think we could do these type of deals. But we can, when you look at the banking system, you look at putting together a financial team that could acquire a deal of this magnitude, we can do this. So that’s my thing is been able to teach us through this process, that this is one of many deals and if this deal don’t go through, it’ll be hundreds of more deals like this.

And then other African Americans minorities, they will follow this and say, You know what, we can go and close some of these big deals like this. And this is the way we put money back into our community and our culture, by not riding in and doing all those things, but we have to start hitting it from economic empowerment. And so that’s what we have to do to change the narrative and change the property and change what we’re going through as a culture. Because even you look at the top 500 fortune 500 CEOs of these companies is only a 10th of 1% is African American, and we have to change that narrative. And we only gonna do that clone ship.

Dan Runcie
So take us behind the hood a little bit. What are the steps look like in order to get the money together? Get the team together? Because I know you said you may want to bring shakin as well. What does it look like from a banking and a financing perspective?

Master P
Well, from a banking and finance perspective, this is not a lot to do. I have so many friends that are billionaires. So this is nothing in putting people together. It’s about putting people together, the most important part of this transaction will make sure that is majority owned by African American. So that’s the message to have 51% of this company owned by African Americans. So we’ll live in other cultures get a chance to be a part of this. This is a big deal. I mean, these transactions happen every day. We just don’t know how to do it. And I think this is going to be the educational process by making sure you have the right banking organizations to put this deal together. So it’s a lot of paperwork is just like going to the bank and financing a car or a house. Every step get bigger, but that’s when putting the right team together. So the right investment package to me make this work.

Dan Runcie
And I think the awareness that the news that you were interested in this has spread definitely shows the excitement that people have for this and what that could do for the brand moving forward. I do have to ask about the price, though, because when I saw 2.4 billion, I thought that that was a lot of money. And then I saw what you would said on CNBC, you said, you think a brand like this is worth around 500 million or so why is there that much of a disconnect between what you all are valuing at versus what Adidas wants to sell it?

Master P
Well, I mean, Adidas has already made a money off of this, they acquired this company 15 years ago. And so that’s what I want to teach our culture. A lot of this stuff is probably been right off for Adidas. And we know that so we looking at the book saying that, you know what, we would never pay that type of money for this, this is what we would pay for this. And if they don’t accept that they want somebody else that’s gonna pay $2 billion for that didn’t make it happen, is not a good deal for me, is either a good deal or is not. And we already said what we are willing to pay for.

And we’re gonna find out soon. I mean, it’s other people up for the deal, too. But I think we have the best chance at getting this because when you look at this, it Reebok don’t go black. I mean, they’ll probably just don’t abandon the brand. They’ve been doing this for 15 years, they went every which way they could go. And now it needs to change another goal, it needs to be cooler, it needs to be in the culture. It needs a facelift. So yeah, I mean, we’ve never spent $2 billion for this company, we’ll go build another company. For we do that.

Dan Runcie
That’s good to hear. Yeah, cuz I’ve seen some of the other companies that are interested. And you know, it’s a lot of the names, we know, I don’t need to name shop anyone on the podcast, but the home that it would be in is very much similar to the path that Reebok is already on, versus being able to truly change the guard. So Best of luck. I know that they’re trying to finalize the deal by early March, I think that’s the deadline. So I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. with that. I like the fact that there’s a mix of things.

Because you’ve always positioned yourself as a entrepreneur, a lot of your businesses have been more from the ground up things that you’re creating things that you’ve pushed, Reebok, of course, is the balance of that from a bigger business perspective. But you’ve done a lot, not just with your own companies, but also trying to support smaller businesses and how that can grow from an economic perspective. And you recently launched a Master P reviews channel to promote a bunch of brands, I’d love to talk about that. Because I think that’s a dope idea. That’s not just relevant to how brands get awareness today. But it really leverages where you yourself have been very skilled.

Master P
Well, it’s all about thinking outside the box and trying to bridge that gap. When you talk about finances, when you talk about African Americans like in minority owned business. If we bridge that gap, then we create these bigger brands to where these multi billion dollar companies, but they got to start from somewhere. So my thing is, if I can help promote these smaller business, then it might not happen overnight. But we can all get there. Because everybody got great ideas. I tell people all the time, no idea is a white guy you just never know. And being able to do the masterpreview.com is allowing small businesses all around the world to get that shine, creating the Empires instead of sitting around waiting for these multi billion dollar deals.

So it’s going up to the multi billion dollar deals, but also creating it from the low bottom fruits. And I think this is the way we create empires, we also change the property, in our culture in our community, because now we have people that’s on the ground, that are thinking outside the box saying you know what, the pandemic has heard a lot of people, a lot of people lost jobs, a lot of people lost a business, only thing they need now people are at home creating products and brains.

And so my thing is, let’s do something organic, but outside the box into give these people give them a platform to shine on. So people sitting around waiting for us nameless check to get $600 the people that I have, through my system, I’m saying, Let’s go five 600 people to sell your product to see how much you make. Then let’s turn that into 1000. Let’s turn into 2000, 5000. Now, with the power of the internet, we able to sell products internationally, you know so we have people checking in from Japan to all these different places, Mexico, Africa, now we’re not only regional selling our product people are tapping in and this is all because of show I created just to let small business shine through these hard times.

So it’s only on YouTube. I did this on Because I wanted to be organic, and I wanted to be able to touch a fan base to where the television channels would tell me what we can’t do this, you can’t do this that way. And I’m like, now I want to be able to get some of these real startup companies. So this is a passion. This is a love of mines. I was talking to guys that I know, I’m saying, you know what, this is probably the most important thing that I had to do. Because this is the way we’re gonna feed out people. And I feel like this is my purpose, to be able to educate and promote these small business across the world for us. I love the show, man, I love the people, that we are able to change lives. And these are people that want a hand up, you know, not a handout, these people are creating business on their own. So it’s even more special.

For me, it’s some crazy ideas and some wacky ideas is some genius ideas. So that’s what makes the show so great. But I tell people, if you get a six above you own a sub anything below, you need to go work on it. But still, you just have to believe it might be something that get a low score, but everybody loves it, because they see it on the show. But no, that makes sense, is all about hope, and inspiring. I think that’s what this show is to a lot of people was gonna throw these ideas away, and I had a lady who had dealer’s lemonade. You know, at one time she was non stop now she like know what and people all across the world they want to eliminate now, then I had a guy that got some hot cells, Big Red Hot Sauce to where people all across the world, I hit him up, and he’s making more orders than he ever had before.

So this is a blessing. And this is, I mean, God is real, you know, we able to do this and able to do this on a platform to the big networks, that can’t stop us from sharing this information and sharing this products. Because you know, because we do stuff on a big television station, oh, well, we can promote this product. Because it’s not… No, this is organically done for us. So that the love is there. It’s real. I mean, we’re gonna change a lot of lives with this show.

Dan Runcie
I saw the trailer and then I saw one of the other episodes. I don’t know how you sort through all those boxes that you got around you, especially at the beginning. But it’s dope. I’m curious, though, because you talked about how the networks themselves, you don’t necessarily want them to tell you what you can and can’t show. I didn’t necessarily see anything that would have been controversial for one of these bigger distributors that would want to simulcast or show what you’re putting out there. But is there a fear? Or are there certain things that you can specifically see being a conflict of interest or an issue?

Master P
I was showing beautiful, sexy, bold, wrong, real business. I think what the conflicts of interest come in, maybe if you had a Campbell’s Soup in, that’s what put the money behind the network. I have somebody on my show that created a soup, but they don’t want to show it. So now I got to take it off. And I’m saying no, I want you know, when I open those packages is organic is real, whatever come out of the package. We have marketing in and we able to promote it. So I just don’t want a network to tell me that I can. That’s why I went to YouTube with this.

Because I don’t want to network and tell me that oh, well, you know, we can’t do this because we have this company that’s back in our network. And the thing with the YouTube, you just go to Master P reviews calm, and it goes straight to it. It’s just organic. So people across the world that just zooming in. And there’s a lot of live shows on YouTube, I feel like it’s a game changer. Because every day daily 930 Eastern 630. Pacific time, this is coming on. And we’re changing lives. And no matter what your product is, I mean, that’s what I love about the show that nobody can tell us what we can’t do. You know, we definitely doing the right thing. It’s a business show. But I don’t want to network to pull somebody product. That will be disappointing.

Dan Runcie
I can see that. And I think this is a common theme for you with how you’ve managed a lot of your businesses, especially what you’ve done in film and TV, and even what you’ve done in music, you being able to have more control and ownership of what is put out then gives you much more autonomy in terms of how this gets produced, and also just creates more opportunities for you to generate that wealth. It’s interesting, though, because I feel like you’ve been on this tip for decades. But the rest of hip hop culture is now just kind of catching up and not just hip hop culture. I mean, more broadly, like black culture black folks, too. You hear it more and more. Why do you think it took this long for that narrative to catch up?

Master P
You know, I think that it’s not cool to do positive stuff, especially coming from where I come from. Nobody’s perfect. And it’s about growing. And I think that people are seeing that if we own things. That’s the only way we’re gonna change the narrative. Being a boss is not for everybody. There’s a lot of hard work. And I feel like as a culture, we afraid to think outside the box saying that we could do it, if they could do it, we only think they could do it and we post to be the workers.

And now we’re changing that mindset is slowly because I don’t want this just to be me at the top of the mountain. When you talk about entrepreneurship, we talk about boasting up, I wanted to be 1000s of us, we know how to get money, we don’t know how to keep it. We don’t know how to grow. And I think the education part is what people are really starting to see. That’s why they starting to follow my movement. Because as we are here writing, and we out here, doing these things, speaking out mind because we definitely are stronger together.

But at the end of the day, when people start seeing when it’s over with just like we did for George Floyd, it when it was over, when we went back home, what did we get out of this? So my thing is now showing him the only way we’re gonna change the narrative is true economic empowerment, we have to understand that we have to hit this with Well, we have to stop being consumers and stop being producers, we also have to stop questioning each other and trust the process. We allow them to grow a bit, if you look at like a Nike and all those companies, you know, those companies are big because of people like us. Nike was a track company. It didn’t get big to Jordan was a part of this. If you go back look at Jordan wore, the black and red shoes was they had to spend $5,000. Again, but my narrative is when they spent $5,000 with the NBA, did they give Jordan $5,000? Even though they paid for the five? No, they did. So imagine if Jordan own that, because he literally made that company.

So I’m saying we got to stop being a face even though he made a lot of money. My hat’s off to Michael Jordan, he did incredible things. He’s one of the best players on the planet when it comes to basketball. But what I’m saying is, he could change that narrative at the same time. Look, if I’m gonna blow this company up to y’all gonna have to make me an owner in this company. So we have to start thinking outside the box, we have to start thinking ownership, especially if we create these brands and products, we look at every brand that you see, is marketed and promoted by somebody like us. But imagine that we own it. So now I’m looking at Uncle Ben rice, and sugar mama syrup and pancakes. Over 130 years, we got those African American owned, but now with the power of the internet. And when our cnn talk to me, people start discovering man, I’ve been saying this for a while. We don’t own those privates, these a mockery of us. So that’s why I created the uncle p rise, the uncle p pancake and syrup, the uncle P, fish fry and chicken fry, the noodles, the cereal, the Hootie Hoos, Uncle P cereals, I mean, we’ve been eating this stuff for years, they’ve been making billions of dollars off.

So I think people been listening to me for over 27 years now. And they starting to wake up and starting to be educated to what’s going on. They are really starting to do that research. And I think now we’re going to create more millionaires and billionaires because now people are starting to think, you know, they could do it, we could do it p been doing this for this long. Look how successful he has been. And he his own boss, imagine that it was 1000 of us. Imagine that. Because when you look at the history, how many billionaires that are African American, we could count them on one hand or two. But when you go and look at the numbers, we like, wow, there’s that many. So we have to change that narrative and is only going to start with us thinking outside the box, trusting the process without product.

Because we quick to say negative stuff about our product and don’t allow us to grow, it’s going to get better. Even if you look at these companies, you look at these companies right now. D This is so big now because we allow them to get better. We allow Under Armour to get better. Nobody liked the Steph Curry shoes at first when they came out. Think about it. But we trust the process. They got better designers, they got better. So you know, people are saying something about the Miyagi. They’ll say oh, well like this, but they ain’t looking at, you know, you’re just looking at the mustard seed, you’re looking at the tree. I’m planting those seeds to get better getting better designers getting a better team, then thinking about acquiring other companies putting the pieces to the puzzle together. And I think that’s how we got to start looking at each other because we spend a lot of money with these guys even then they product and not finished.

So it’s a lot of these food products that we buy knockoff products that are making billions of dollars, but we’re not making nothing off of that. So I feel like it’s time for that change in growth. So that’s what we’re doing right now with TJ foods. Me and my partner James Lindsay. We are developing products our people could say, Wow, we can do this too. And hopefully it brand new More African Americans and minority owned business to the table. Because it’s a process man getting product in a Walmart that Targets the Krogers. It’s not too many people look like us in these chain stores and supermarket stores. So it’s a process. And so I think people now they’re being more patient and seeing, but you got to look at it.

Famous Amos cookies was sold for $2.6 billion, they diluted the shares of his company, and he ended up with nothing. We have to change that now just say we change it with education. And I think that’s what some people might say, Man, he always said this. But you know, he got it all. No line always had it all. I started from the bottom, I kept educating myself. It’s not about money. And also I want people to know, this is temporary success. We can’t take this with us.

We just seen the scare what happened with Dr. Dre, you know, we got to stop celebrating people, when you know something gonna happen to them or you think they don’t and stuff like that. We got to celebrate the great people that are here now and let them know that we love them we care about and given the flowers, why they’re here instead of waiting till it’s too late. And I think that’s the narrative I want to change without coach, I want to make them think I want them to see that it’s a bigger picture. Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams and your goals. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. But don’t be afraid to sacrifice and work. You know, the Bible say you don’t work, you know, he is oh, you know, I know people see me where I’ve come from. I work hard every day. And I put my trust and faith in God. And I’m not afraid to get up in the morning and chase my dreams and my goals.

Everybody got 24 hours, the man that’s sitting home crying, he mad angry going on the internet, just saying negative stuff about people that mean that he has nothing but time on his hand. He’s not investing his time. And my grandmother always told me if you ain’t got nothing good to say, don’t say nothing. So we have to stop pushing each other, you know, start thinking outside the box, I want people that’s gonna push me not people that’s gonna run with me. And I’m not afraid to celebrate the people that came before me that people that are doing great. And I just want to let people know that it’s time for us. Now, this is a great time. And even when you look at what’s going on in the White House, I looked at that now it’s not just us out there right now I’m fighting. So it doesn’t look as bad no more now is other coaches out there they fighting for what they believe in. You know. So now people see how we really feel like we’ve been going through this for so long.

But my thing is, don’t dwell on the past. I tell people all the time. And I always say, you know, 400 years they did this. And you know what, we can’t change the past, but to economic empowerment, we can change the future, we have to start being part of this wealth building, we have to stop being a part of this creating empires, we have to be a part of this building generational wealth, we have to be a part of this speaking positive to our kids as they grow. So they grew up with that mindset, we have to start teaching them economics and banking, the younger kids. So it’s a mindset in the adults, we can’t be afraid to change and grow. People say, Well, why are you so successful, because I have a billion dollars worth of knowledge. It ain’t about the money, I don’t have to have the money, you have the knowledge. Life is like a seesaw go up and down, you will get to the money. I keep educating myself every day. And I always say the only way to be relevant. You got to keep up with time. And a lot of people don’t want to do that. They want to be stuck in their own ways. I’m not stuck in my own ways. I’m open to the next generation, to what they going through what they have on a mind. And I’ve figured out how to keep it going. And I think how you keep it going is just doing it right.

Dan Runcie
It’s always about elevating. And one of the things you mentioned, you mentioned Michael Jordan and how much money he made Nike. And I think this is where some of the nuance gets lost because some people will look and say, Okay, well, Michael Jordan is one of the few black billionaires we got. He owns an NBA team. Yeah, that’s true. But Michael Jordan got there. Think about how much money Michael Jordan made in Nike. I mean, you may be celebrating Michael Jordan’s billionaire status, but think about how many more times that he made Nike. And even for a few other examples. Let’s look at Kanye West and Adidas and Yeezy. We talked about Adidas and all they were able to do it’s great. He was able to do that with Yeezy but Adidas made a lot more money off of that than Kanye likely was able to. And I think I’d even throw Jay Z in there, to some extent look at the success of a company like a Live Nation or some of the other partners. He’s worked with Jay Z, billionaire done his wealth, but other people have been able to make even more off of that as a result. And I think it has to do with patience because I think ownership in many ways is a patience game where if you want to get richer, you want to get that Forbes cash king status sooner rather than later, partnering with one of those major companies or to go about your business is a quicker way to get there. But I think in a lot of ways you’re playing the longer game. And that ends up reaping its rewards much more likely in the end, and just given the breadth of businesses that you yourself are interested in, that’s the kind of stuff that’s gonna set you up. But also set generations up too.

Master P
Ya know, is about building generational wealth. When I look at the deals that those guys have done, like I said, the long haul is probably not for everybody. But these guys had some big time partners. That’s the difference with me, I did a lot of this stuff on my own. And it takes a little longer, but the reward, we’re going to be able to feed so many families. And that’s why I know God keep blessing us because we looking at the big picture when you look at Reginald Lewis, this guy that did it in the 70s to create billion dollar business. Great book, really great book. Yes. And my thing is, like you said, even with the Michael Jordan deal, a lot of money hasn’t been left on the table, even though we happy for him and his family. But you have to know your power and how to use it when it’s time.

A lot of those deals come through to where they want to connect us with people. I’m saying, No, I want to keep building. Because if they was able to sell Famous Amos business for $2.6 billion, imagine if he would have rode that train all the way there and been a part of that. So it is being patient. But some people get it the way they get it. And I’m happy for him. But I want to feed so many other families, I want to take so many other people that look like me with us. We look at the deals I seen even the deal that Jay Z did with Roc Nation, man, that’s big time deal. I don’t like how the sports companies, they play us, they’ll give us 1% of a deal. And then try to get us to get the minority. They call them minority owned deals. So when you look at it, you just sit in on a court, but you have no voting rights in your work. Don’t go up against nothing when they ready to let you go and let you go. Jay Z put a lot of work into building this Brooklyn Nets, which I feel that was his vision, his views. But when the guy was done with him, he exposed. Oh, he only owned this percentage of the company. This is my company. I don’t want that to happen for us.

So I keep educating our people. And I’m learning from everybody mistakes, I just I go people are gonna learn from my mistakes 10 years from now, but I’m taking this stuff and I’m putting it into my mind just like a basketball player. They go work, I’m saying now, let’s work on the muscles in our brains. Let’s exercise those muscles. Let’s not just take when it grows up matters. But you know, you’ll make a lot to be honest, but you have no control. And I think to control in a positive you look at it Hollywood, I’m saying I need to change that narrative. If you look at motherfucking, you know, they had to fight for the civil rights. And so I feel like I have to fight for us as empowering each other economically. That’s the way we’re gonna change the narrative. That’s the way you want to get out just due to where, you got 1000 billionaires now, because it’s something that I see that I’m looking at.

Okay, this is the lack of information that we are getting no, definitely creating wealth, but I’m talking about beyond just us. I want this to go beyond just me. So that’s why I look at some of these deals and say, if Michael Jordan blew that company up, he deserved 50%. of that’s the harsh reality, but that’s never gonna happen. Because they way beyond the stockholders and all this stuff. Once these companies get big, they say thank you, you know, we’re going to create a space for you. But they move on. I’m just saying, we are building these companies and these brands, the one that we are, we need to control the narrative, and then they control where they get back to it with these companies, we have nothing to say. So if they want to give back to whatever foundation they want to, that’s what they do. None of that money is coming back into our communities.

And so that’s what I get up every night. Every morning. I’m passionate about him, like I got to change that I could take these big deals and just do it. But no, I’m like, I gotta be a rebel. I got to be the guy that I’m gonna go and fight for us. That’s why I tell my people don’t look at you know, they might say what Master P got noodles, how much sold? Like, don’t even look at that. This is going to get better and better and better. We just got to get in those shelves. We got to get some of that money that they’re making. Even if it’s 10% of even if it’s 5%. We can come back and change our community. You know, I got cereal now. You got a company called what is that family value where they they make $27 billion just selling to African American, minority owned, Latino families. We don’t even care about we just say oh, this is how much it cost is a good price. Got to get this for my kids. My kids want be full. Why can’t we create that product, we go to the same factories that they go to. But we have to support each other. If we don’t, we would not change the profit.

And this all start with education. So my thing is educate the people first on how to do these big deals. Also, how to control the narrative by controlling the ownership, the ones that are listening, we’re moving forward, the ones that have the self hate, oh, I

don’t care, I don’t want your product I’m good with that’s on Yo, we’re not going to change the negative things that we’re going through without having any control of the money. And so I’m taking a page out of Reginald Lewis book. And even taking it a step further saying, not only we need one kind of, we need 1000s of products. So that’s what I get up every morning. And keep going and showing people but can’t come from a project could do this. All the ones that we have gone to Harvard, all these great schools, y’all can do it, too. So join, this movement, you see what I did in the music industry, we disrupted the music, and I sold 100 million records independent, what do you think you could do in the food and it’s nobody look like us what you think we could do in a tennis shoe, the clothing industry.

Let’s be honest, if we own it, now, we can go back and build most schools, educate our kids the same way they do, and prepare. And that’s how we build generational. And so that’s why it goes so hard every day to where not only build my business, I want to help build other small business because it is a tribe of us. One just picking up the door. Like they’re gonna be like, okay, yeah, well, another billionaire, no, 1000 of them, like, wow, we didn’t arrive, and they’re gonna take a series.

Now we’re able to build communities and cultures, with our money, banks, you know, all these type of things. Because right now, even you look at Black banks. They just say, okay, we’re gonna use this for diversity. But imagine, we don’t look like Chase, Bank of America, nothing like that. Because it’s not enough of us. So it’s time to change that narrative that’s gonna start with creating these big companies. And like you said, staying in for the long haul, for me to be able to get where I’m at right now, is all true education is not about money. It’s all about passion and purpose. So I found out what my passion is. And my purpose is to educate my people in my culture, financial, and financial literacy. And that’s the way we change the property.

Dan Runcie
It’s so important. And for folks listening, the book that we’ve both referencing, it’s by Reginald Lewis is called “Why Do White Guys Have All The Fun?” check it out. It’s a great read, and just shows you how so many of the lessons that he went through decades ago, still relevant now. Question for you on the focus you’ve had from a strategy perspective, though, because from the outside in, you’ve been pushing this for a while, decades, as I mentioned, was it ever tough like, were there ever any moments you had that were like breaking moments that were like, oh, man, if I just took this deal, or if I just made this partnership, this whole thing would be a lot easier. Were there any of those big moments that you had with any of the companies you’ve run through your career,

Master P
all the time, be honest with you, I mean, as African Americans, you know, we under pressure all the time, we got bills to pay. And that’s how they get my first deal. In the music industry only have $500 in my pocket. And now I had a million dollar check in front of me to turn that down and go back to the hood. That was heartbreaking. But I knew it was something bigger. I tell people all the time, don’t do deals when you’re desperate. I mean, a lot of times, man, life’s like a seesaw and go up and down, and go up and down. And you know, you get in these rooms. And these people have great ideas, big ideas. My only thing is saying, What if we control these ideas, I want to we’re gonna do that to ownership. So every time I walk out, I know that God got something bigger for me. Even I might think I’m missing out on this. But in the end, I always realized that you know what, that wasn’t the deal for me.

So it’s one bigger out there that I’m going to get that I’m going to change the game. And I feel like the route I’m taking now, I’ll probably be one of the richest black men on the planet. Oh, probably one of the richest men on planet. Because my patience, I’m taking my time with it. And even the people that don’t see my vision, that’s cool. The Bible say when your vision is so big people that are not supposed to see it, people don’t laugh at it. You know, people go make financial, they not gonna see it because they only stuck into the mustard seed. They don’t see the tree. But the seed has been planted to do something that not only life changing for me and my family, but for other families. So, man, I just stay focused, stay prayed up, keep doing something every day and try to hope that other people join the movement and see that the only way we’re going to change.

Change the narrative of being one of the poorest race on this planet, we got to start owning things, we got to start coming up with more products, we got to start controlling it, not just come up with something, give it to them and go get a quick buck off. And then we outside we love outside the room, if you’re going to get a seat at the table, then you got the boss up. And I think that we’re going to change this in the grocery store aisles now when you walk in, and you’re gonna see real African American own product that we created. And I think people are going to be excited because when I was a kid, my grandmother was excited to get an Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima products, she won’t get to Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, that’s how people.

But as you get older, and I went to college and understand, I start thinking, we don’t own it, you know, my grandmother died thinking that we owned it. And so I feel like now what am I gonna do, you know, I’m gonna change that narrative. So this generation don’t have to. And I think it’s time for diversity. Now, even in corporate America, they realize it’s time to give us a piece of the pie. But we have to be prepared, we have to have pride of, we have the day, but the ship this product, we have to have distribution. So I want our culture to start thinking outside the box like that. That’s how we build the real world.

You know, it’s easy for us to get rich, but I’m talking about building wealth, we have to be prepared. And it all starts with education and knowledge and wisdom. So it’s not about the money. So it’s a lot of people with money that don’t understand the big picture. And so even when athletes and entertainers, they don’t teach us that they teach you do your job, shut up and play ball. And when it’s over, you’ll have a lot of money, you can feed your family. But now you this big superstar. People looking for you to do other things in the community. You really can’t do it. And I’m because they taught you how to borrow your money up and your fears hold on to it. And don’t help nobody. You made it. Don’t worry about the rest of them. No, I can’t sleep like that. I got to come out, I got to help the kids, I got to help the elderly.

I feel like we have to create franchises. I’m tired of going to McDonald’s. I’m tired of going to these big burger places, all this stuff like these in our community. That’s what made me create my restaurant, say, let me create big puppets. Because one day, you might not see it right now. But one day, we’re gonna be just as big as McDonald’s or Burger King. But you have to get started. So everybody’s scared to swing. Like because they don’t think they can hit a home run. I’m saying the only way you can hit a home run. You got to swing at the ball. You had to get in the game. So they don’t teach us that. So we definitely gonna change that narrative. Man. We came a long way. I feel like it’s our time now.

Dan Runcie
Yeah, you’re right. It’s our time.

Master P
I didn’t say is my time, I say its our time! I want people to know I want is our time I want 1000s of us to go stand and get a seat at the table.

Dan Runcie
And if you keep pushing the narrative, and it spreads, I think it’s going to continue the last few years have shown the tide shifting, and I hope it continues to go that way. before we let you go. Question for you about mentorship. I’m sure that there’s a lot of people I know in the game, both inside and outside of hip hop that look up to you. Who are you mentoring, who are the people that Master P has on dial to ask about questions that manage

Master P
I have a lot of people that I love and care about, from professional athletes to entertainers, just ordinary people that’s chasing their dreams and their goals. also started, the Master Chat is all about just being able to chat with people. I know that you know we going on Clubhouse, I keep telling you we go on Clubhouse, we make an another one and I’m a billionaire. We just did it just for Clubhouse, we need to create stuff like that to where we control the narrative. And we able to put money back in our community and our culture. But if one of us did that, we will be saying I don’t think that’s gonna work. Why would you call the Clubhouse is not a club, we come up with all different types of excuses, right? Nobody cared, everybody went on Clubhouse blew this up.

You know, this guy went to the bank got whatever he wants, he’s gonna take that company public. We’re not thinking like that. The only way we’re gonna be successful. We don’t have to start taking companies public. That’s the way you build wealth. And we created so much wealth for them. And all the thing we created is being a consumer on our end. And so that’s what I’m trying to teach my people. This gone be great because we have a lot of great African American guys that are creating technology, but we’re not supporting them.

I feel like it’s time to create that you got a Cash App and all those other type of things. PayPal, it’s time to create some black banks online. So we got to think outside the box. If we’re going to change this property, we definitely have to start with mentorship. But we also have the benefit of listen. Think about a lot of athletes and entertainers, we listen to them. But we don’t listen to us. We wait till we lose everything, then you come in want to listen to us. And I can be like, man, I told you like, I could have saved you $5 million. But you don’t want to give me say fences, like a lot of these deals be on the table. And I watch this.

I mean, even if you look at what you were saying, with Kanye West. Kanye West helped build Adidas, made them cool again. But now he’s in a situation to where he don’t even want to wear his own shoes now, like you own Yeezy why would you not wear? Because we got to start taking care of business. That’s what I want to educate this generation, though you go and now taken care of the business.

Think about it. If you brought somebody like me into that deal with you to be your consultant, I could have showed you ways to save hundreds of millions of dollars. But we don’t put that type of trust and faith in us until it’s over, then we come to us, we have to stop that I’m tired of guys coming to me, when the deal goes bad. Let’s go in there together. Because they don’t think about us, if you look at is different the way a white guy will have to survive, then us the way we have to survive. It’s a big difference. And maybe maybe we don’t understand that. But it’s the truth. They need some time to to hurt.

But I think our culture, that’s what we have to change, we wait to come to the people that are experts or the people that have the knowledge because they’ve been through this stuff, you know, already before you. And so we’ll check my track record, I didn’t mind. If I came to you for a deal. I know you had expertise at doing this deal. And I say, well, this deal, I’m gonna make $10 million. You come and say no. P, I’m gonna show you how to make 100 million. Right? Now you bring this other guy with you with the tsunami, that’s gonna only get you 10 million, but you’re gonna get him five or 10% of that deal. Are you happy to do that? But I’m gonna get you 100 mil. And you won’t even give me my five or 10%? Because you feel like I don’t need your money because I messed up. I mean, is that right or wrong?

Dan Runcie
That’s not right. I would imagine though, that people should be bringing you to the table because of what you’ve done.

Master P
But that’s what we have to educate them. Because they don’t know that. So my biggest problem with dealing with my people is that they look at what I’ve done, but you still have to appreciate. So when I walked into Michael Jackson attorney’s office, that was in the 90s, he asked me for $25,000 just to sit down with him, I gave it to him, that was the best money I spent in my life. I didn’t mind because that person knew more than me when it comes down to the music business. And so as I studied and get better, but you know, you got to realize if to meet with my people, I don’t want nothing if we can’t get a deal. But if we get a deal, you don’t have to give me whatever, you’re gonna get your financial advisor, your agent or whatever, then I just think that’s fair. Don’t look at what I have, I mean, and say, well, you don’t need the money. So, but you’re gonna give them probably more. So we have to change that narrative to

Dan Runcie
Right, it’s principle.

Master P
Exactly. So you know, and I think a lot of athletes and entertainers, they don’t look at it, but it’s also about having integrity. So you know what my character, having the character and integrity is being able to just do what’s right for others, and do what’s right when nobody is looking. And so that’s what I really want to teach this generation. That’s how we get better. And that’s how we grow.

Dan Runcie
I know you mentioned that $25,000 meeting, you met with the attorney just to understand the music industry. So this is the last question and then we’ll really let you go. But who are your mentors? Now? Who do you go to for advice?

Master P
I mean, to be honest with you, like, I do a lot of research and reading. I really been studying this Reginald Lewis, his whole lifestyle, man, because this guy really paved the way for us. I’m talking about somebody thinking outside the box, I look at the good, the bad, everything. I know everything about this guy. I have partners like James Lindsay in the food industry. I call him the black Willy Wonka, everything about the food industry. That’s what makes us work. So somebody has to know this part of the business. I know the marketing part of the business. We bring this together, and we stronger together.

I look at the Bob Johnsons, I look at the people that came before me. Oprah Winfreys and I look at those people and look up to them, because they did something that a lot of us couldn’t do. And I just keep educating myself with the power of the internet, anything that I need. And so anybody that’s that’s out there watching this right now, you guys could go even further that nuts because you have the power to look at other people mistakes in the great things they did and the bad things they did. So it’s up to you.

So I think the internet is so valuable now that I go pull somebody up and study what they’ve done. And see How I can get to this level. But I have to work. So I might look at a Michael Jordan work ethic, a Kobe Bryant work ethic, then I might look at some professor, it’s different people, I just don’t take it out of one thing, because I feel like you have to diversify your portfolio.

20 years ago, people always say, you got to be great at one thing. If you’re great at one thing you’ve done, you got to be great at one thing, but you also have to be great at other things that can tie into that same one thing, this is what makes you great. But these other things is what’s gonna keep you great. So I always diversify my portfolio because I’m like, okay, I might be good at music. I could be good in movies, it goes together, then if I’m good at movies, I’m happy to wear clothes. So not only get me a clothing business, I don’t have to just wear their clothes. So now I’m wearing tennis shoes, I might as well create my own company, right? We got to eat food, I might as well build some food products. I’m going to restaurants, I might as well create me a restaurant.

So if you can do this financially, and you build it, oh, well, I need houses, I might as well understand real estate. This is how these other cultures build wealth through real estate. And so you we have to know how to be a part of what we believe in, but also build a trust, even with ourselves because you can talk yourself out of something. Now I’m not that good. And that’s why you go find experts and you pay these people for a time. That’s what I do. I’m not the smartest guy in the room. I say, You know what? Anything that I don’t know, I’m gonna find experts and pay him for the time. And we all win in the end.

Dan Runcie
I like that. Well said. That’s a good note to end on. Master P. This has been a pleasure. Thanks for coming on.

Master P
Yes, sir.

Dan Runcie
If you enjoyed this podcast, go ahead and share it with a friend. Copy the link text to a friend posted in your group chat posted in your slack groups. Wherever you and your people talk, spread the word. That’s how Trapital continues to grow and continues to reach the right people. And while you’re at it, if you use Apple podcast, go ahead and rate the podcast. Give it a high rating and leave a review. tell people why you liked the podcast that helps more people discover the show. Thank you in advance. Talk to you next week.

Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

Share this episode:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Get Trapital's free weekly hip-hop business memo to gain insights from the latest trends

"The stuff that Trapital puts out is fantastic. Really interesting insights into the industry, artists trends, and market trends."
Mike Weissman
CEO, SoundCloud
“You tell the true stories. Not just the end product, but how you get to the end product. Your point of view on it is dope.”
Steve Stoute
CEO, UnitedMasters and Translation

Trapital Podcast

Learn from the top execs in the game. Trapital founder Dan Runcie interviews the culture’s leading business leaders who share their best insights.


More from Trapital