No Limit Records
Parent Company: Interscope Records/Universal
Label CEO: Percy ‘Master P’ Miller
No Limit Records was a record label that began in 1990 as the No Limit Record Shop in Richmond, California. Building operations from a New Orleans project, founder Master P became a hip-hop kingpin in the southern market. No Limit was active from 1994 to 2003. Percy Miller, aka Master P, began his career by distributing his records through a small Bay Area record label. He started out in Richmond, California where his mother resided. Despite being on the West Coast, he maintained his connections to the South through his father who remained in New Orleans. Miller signed his friends E-A-Ski & CMT, Sonya C (his then girlfriend), King George, Big Ed, Lil Ric and added his brother, Silkk the Shocker.
Later he and Silkk (along with their brother C-Murder) went on to form the group TRU. During the early 90’s, P released many solo albums, with very little success. However, Miller was able to garner notoriety for himself and No Limit Records on the West Coast by collaborating with various artists and through his compilation albums West Coast Bad Boyz 1 & 2.
Following his success on the West Coast in 1994, he decided the time was right to expand his label. After signing Oakland rapper Dangerous Dame who later released the EP Escape from the Mental Ward through No Limit, Miller then signed several acts from New Orleans. The new additions included Mia X and his brother C-Murder. During this time, Master P also did tracks with Kane & Abel and Mystikal (all of which he later signed to the label). In 1995, TRU released their third album, True, which achieved gold status. After the success of TRU, many of his West Coast artists began to believe they were not being compensated fairly. Master P moved No Limit Records and set up shop in New Orleans. He brought his brothers Silkk and C-Murder with him, along with Mia X, Skull Duggery, Kane & Abel, Mac, Tre 8, Mr. Serv-On and Big Ed.
In 1995, No Limit signed a huge distribution deal with Priority Records to distribute No Limit Records music. Master P maintained ownership of all of his master recordings and his studio. He also became the label’s main artist, and also released the album Ice Cream Man that year.
No Limit Records had grown by 1997 to include Master P, C-Murder, Silkk the Shocker, Snoop Dogg, Mac, Mercedes, Soulja Slim, Lil’ Italy, Full Blooded, Fiend, Magic, Mia X, Prime Suspects, Gambino Family, and Mystikal. Master P’s 1997 album Ghetto D, and the 1998 album, MP Da Last Don, reached number one on the Billboard 200. In efforts to broaden his career, Master P also wrote, directed and acted in the underground movie I’m Bout It and performed several of the tracks on the album’s accompanying soundtrack. It started his movie career which lead to films such as I Got the Hook Up and Foolish.
By 1999, the label was still flourishing, making millions on every release, and Silkk tha Shocker’s release, Made Man, debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200. Master P began to branch outside of rap, appearing in World Championship Wrestling in which his No Limit Soldiers took on the West Texas Rednecks, and even tried to make the NBA. As for No Limit Records, each release featured less and less of the marquee artists, leading their fans to the correct conclusion that they had left the label. By 2000, only Master P, C-Murder, Silkk, Magic, and Mia X remained from their most celebrated artists. Angel B and a long list of new artists such as Short Circuit, Popeye, Samm, Curren$y, Choppa, Krazy and others had replaced the early artists that had help elevate No Limit Records to the heights of success. Mystikal had left, and his first post-No Limit album, Let’s Get Ready, debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 in 2000. P’s good friend Mac (who is still signed to the label) was in jail for murder at this time. Many of the No Limit artists did not reach longevity and left for other projects.
By 2002, it appeared that the focus of No Limit Records was limited to the Miller family. This notion was further strengthened with the release of his son, Lil’ Romeo’s, début album. On December 17, 2003, the company filed for bankruptcy due to various lawsuits. Miller realized it was more sensible to shut down No Limit and reorganize and refinance the company with profits from No Limit Records. He named his new label “The New No Limit Records”. By 2004, the reorganized label had moved to Koch Records for distribution. The New No Limit is now in partnership with Miller’s own distribution company, Guttar Music Entertainment.
Silkk Tha Shocker
Kane & Abel
Sons of Funk
Snoop DoggKing George
Mo B. Dick
Beats By the Pound