Master P will be honored at the I Am Hip Hop award at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards on Tuesday (Oct. 26) for his outstanding contribution to the culture over his almost thirty-year career.
The New Orleans rap icon spoke about his legacy, the importance of building generational wealth, and his sources of inspiration during a virtual press conference. While talking to radio host Head Krack, the 50-year-old shared that one of the more fulfilling aspects of his journey has been to share his story with others, hoping that his life might inspire others to be a force of change within their communities.
“I want to let the people know that [by] watching my story, [they] don’t [have to] be afraid to change and grow up. That’s what the Lord has blessed me with,” the 50-year-old said. “Your story could be even greater than mine if you don’t be afraid to put the work in.”
The radio host asked P what his reaction was when he learned that he was being honored with the I Am Hip Hop award. The rapper-turned-business mogul expressed that he doesn’t necessarily care about trophies and awards.
“This is not about me. This has never been about me,” he said. “This is about my growth and us showing each other how to grow.”
For P, the award is more significant than him.
“The younger generation of hip hop with the older generation of hip hop showing how we can merge and be stronger together,” he explained. “It’s a mindset. So, if I can get them to think and change their mindset, that’s what it's about for me.”
An example of his work to bridge generations is his personal and professional relationship with his son, Romeo, who P credits as one of his biggest sources of inspiration.
“My son inspires me because he truly got a good start in life but never forgot where he came from. ‘Cause we came from the projects together,” he said. “But for him to still be focused I know that my legacy is in good hands. That’s probably the most inspiration for me as a person now.” P also paid his respects to the work that Nipsey Hussle was doing before the Slauson rapper was tragically killed in front of his Marathon clothing store last year.
“I loved his grind and hustle to give back to the community. That’s what I was teaching, like ‘man, we have to help our people,’ and he was so focused,” he said. “To lose his life in his own community, we have to change that narrative.”
When Head Krack asked if he ever experienced survivor’s remorse, P simply said , “I look at my life and just thank God.”
“The world we live in now, the hip hop artists want to be gangsters and killers now when the people that were living like that, they wanted to get into hip hop,” he noted. “Do you want to make money and take care of your family and grow old? Because we didn’t get a chance to see Tupac and Biggie Smalls get older. This younger generation got to look at that.”
He continued, “Everybody wants to be real. Everybody wants to be tough. Everybody wants to be hard. When I was there, I didn’t want to be there. That’s the thing. I didn’t want to be in the streets. I didn’t want to die in the streets [or] go to prison.”
“Don’t be afraid to change and fix your mindset,” he championed. “I went from a street guy to an entertainer to running corporate America to taking over grocery stores. They laughed. The ice cream man got cake mix now. I’m gonna be the best that I can be, and I don’t worry about what nobody has to say. ”
Be sure to tune into the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards, which airs on Tuesday, October 27, at 8/9c. In the meantime, get ready for the show with this Pandora playlist highlighting Master P’s iconic discography here.
(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)