“Clean up ya dirty money to good money; legal money last longer than drug money!”
— Master P
The undisputed entrepreneur and southern legend Master P — who ironically started his career on the west coast — was already riding high by the time that 1997 rolled around. His label No Limit, which evolved from a record store he had owned/operated in Richmond, California, was a magazine mainstay, booking out two pages at a time. He also scored a few regional hits alongside his brothers C-Murder and Silk The Shocker, collectively known as TRU, and had some notoriety after the release of his fifth solo endeavour, Ice Cream Man. It was with the release of the infamous Ghetto D, though, that the whole continent caught on to what the NO transplant was up to. Fuelled by the double-platinum lead single, “Make Em’ Say Ughh,” the album was a game changer for not only P but his entire roster, which grew to its climax a few short years later.
The album was a rough, rugged, raw walk through [southern] inner-city life. From the title track, which included a vivid step-by-step manual on how to be a cocaine distributor, to the dramatic allusions to the rap industry as a form of reformation for drug dealers on “I’m A Rider.” Then, there was the heartfelt [lyrical] tears for the fallen on the project’s second biggest single, “I Miss My Homies,” which was largely inspired by the death of his brother, Kevin. There were a few thug-love attempts — those were, however, overshadowed by bassy funk-laced rider music that became the soundtrack of the southern massive.
Following the album’s success, the label saw solo efforts by many of its core artists, like Silk and Mystikal, push millions of units. P was even able to score Snoop Dogg during the weird limbo period after he left Death Row. In fact, that album stands as the highest selling from the imprint. The turn of the millennium saw the mighty tank sustain some heavy damage — from the loss of major artists, the indefinite incarceration of C-Murder, and a decline in record sales. P eventually sold the catalogue and has since tried to reclaim his brand’s glory days a few times — to varying degrees of success. His son has sold millions of records, and appeared on television, and P himself still has a fortune of over $300 million to keep him warm at night. For fans of the rapper during the heydey of his iconic label, his music will always have a place in our hearts.
As we celebrate 19 years since the release of Ghetto D, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of the album’s biggest records. Turn up, and take a walk down memory lane.”Ughhhhhhh.”