Percy ‘Master P’ Miller

After selling millions of records on his own independent label, No Limit Records, rapper and music mogul Percy Miller (a.k.a. Master P), 54, is now the chief executive of P. Miller Enterprises, which has launched a popular line of grocery products including chips, ramen, flour, rice, breakfast cereal, frying mix and other pantry staples. He lives in Los Angeles.

Through No Limit Records you were already legendary for your hustle in the music business, but you’re starting these small brands and have become something of a guru of small-business ownership. Why the shift?

I let people know that I come from hip-hop, but that was one part of my life. I view that like my childhood. This is new. I want to create thousands of me. I feel like the only way to get justice and change now is through economic empowerment, and the more African Americans and Latinos that we educate and show the importance of entrepreneurship, this will be the only way we eliminate poverty and a lack of education.

For us to put money back into our communities we need to be successful on the ownership side: owning property in our community, owning products, building cultures of economic empowerment through training our culture about that. That’s why we’re so far behind, dwelling on the past and not looking at the future. We can’t change the past, but we can change the future by starting now. You don’t have to be perfect. But really, understanding the importance of ownership, this is way to solve our problems. Educating our peers and our kids. It’s all about the next generation to me.