Solange's latest effort A Seat at the Table is an incredible journey into the singer's inner psyche. While Solange weaves her own solid tale of finding herself in the midst of chaos (with the help of some killer collaborations), there's another noteworthy voice that echoes throughout the project. Master P is the narrator, traveling through interludes with some necessary gems we can all take with us. Check out the gospel according to Percy Miller.
On the first interlude, titled "The Glory Is in You," Master P breaks down the understanding of finding peace and how it's not that hard to find. "Sometimes you ask yourself, 'Where's the peace?'" he says. "Everybody is always talking about peace, but, as long as you find peace in what you doing then you successful and that's what people don't realize."
Searching for glory? Master P knows where it is. On that same first interlude, Master P emphatically declares, "The glory is in you."
On the fourth interlude, "This Moment," Master P breaks down the value of Black lives and how the time is now to speak up. "If you don't understand us and understand what we've been through, then you probably wouldn't understand what this moment is about," he expresses. "This is home. This is where we from. This is where we belong."
Society has been corrupt for years and years, where we rob from one people to pay another. It's beyond a conspiracy; it's a reality. "Everything is about dollars and cents," Master P states. "Even when you're talking the government, you know? Even when you're talking about the preachers and the people that's running the community."
Interlude No. 5, "For Us By Us," is somewhat of an in-depth look at the genesis of Master P's independent powerhouse No Limit Records. He recalls the time when he was offered a million dollars for a deal but couldn't use his name, so he turned it down. "I was fighting my brother, because, 'Man, you should've took the million dollars!' I said, 'No, what you think I'm worth? If this white man offer me a million dollars I gotta be worth forty or fifty... or ten or something.'" From there, he brought his Black-owned company to the Billboard charts and Forbes lists. If that's not inspirational, then what is?
It's in that same interlude where we learn that all of the anger Master P had within him went straight to the music. The results were more rewarding than we realized: "Going to the white lady's house where my grandmother lived at, and saying, 'Look, you don't have to work here no more, Big Mama! We got more money than the people on St. Charles Street.'" Beautiful.
Ever wonder where No Limit came from, including that iconic tank? Well, now we know, thanks to the aptly titled seventh interlude "No Limits":
"My grandfather, Big Daddy, was in the military. He always said, 'Man, them people ain't gon' do nothing for us.' So he was like, 'Grandson, you need to start your own army.' And that's where the tanks and the military thing come," he says. "My grandfather, he said, 'Why you gon' call it 'No Limit'?' I said, 'Because I don't have no limit to what I could do.'"
"See, I watched the Avon lady in my hood," Master P recalls in the "No Limits" interlude. "She popped her trunk and sell her products. So I put all my CDs and cassettes in the back of my trunk and I hit every city, every hood."
The eighth interlude, "Pedestals," reveals more of Master P's mind. "I never cried or nothing, and that's where the, 'Make 'em say uhh uhh,' that's like my pain," he says. "That's basically what it is. That's my battle cry." He goes on to say we are all imperfect. "Only God can judge me, that's how I look at it," he adds. "The people that's sitting around pointing their fingers, imagine all the stuff they're probably doing. Whether you're police officers, doctors, lawyers, presidents, whatever, you got good and bad in everything. You know, we're putting people on a pedestal that's just a human like us."
The concept of #SelfCare can apply to multiple aspects of Black lives as Master P elaborates on in "Pedestals." "They got more drugs in the rich neighborhoods than they got in the hood. A lot of their kids dying from overdose and things like that. Think about it. Black kids have to figure it out! We don't have rehabs to go to," he says. "You gotta rehab yourself. But for us, you can't pull the plug on us and tell us it's over. Not me!"
On the closing interlude, "The Chosen Ones," Master P keeps it real about believing in a greater being. "That's what make my life complete, knowing that it's a higher being, a higher power, knowing that these people done paved they way," he says. "You know, our great-great-grandfathers and grandmothers that came here, they found some kind of way to make the rhythm. You know, and they kept rhythm, no matter what."
His final remark on "The Chosen Ones" says it all: "Now, we come here as slaves, but we going out as royalty and able to show that we are truly the chosen ones."
(Photo from left: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images, Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
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