Carefully threaded throughout Solange‘s latest LP is the familiar voice of Master Percy Miller, whose tales of self-made moguldom and Black empowerment — along with Momma Tina and Poppa Mathew’s powerful anecdotes — effectively set the tone for A Seat At The Table.
As Solange explained to Stereogum just hours before the album’s release, her relationship with Master P dates back to the era of MTV Cribs, whose episode featuring the Southern rap legend made a lasting impact on the younger Knowles sister.
“I remember being a teenager, much like many teenagers at the time, and seeing Master P on ‘MTV Cribs,’ and it being one of the most gaudy, incredible displays of wealth that I had ever seen in my life,” Solo shared. “It really impacted me that, out of all the houses on MTV Cribs, this was a black man from New Orleans, and he got this by completely staying firm in his independence.”
And you’ll hear the No Limit Soldier detail his early days as a young and hungry go-getter on the album.
“They offered me a million dollar deal, and had the check ready, said I wouldn’t be able to use my name,” P relays on the “For Us By Us” interlude. “I was fighting my brother, because ‘Man, you shoulda 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.”
Complex UK recently spoke to Master P about everything from how he became involved with A Seat At The Table to his views on the state of the American Black community.
Read some of the highlights of the interview below, then head over here to peep the conversation in its entirety.
On How He Ended Up Narrating A Seat At The Table:
“[Solange] reached out to me. She’s been a big fan of my music even when she was younger and she was like, ‘I’m doing this project, I want to make it different, I want to make it special. Would you come say a couple words on it, narrate a couple songs on it?’ It was all love.
[This album] happened the way it was supposed to happen because she’s a star and it’s her time. Like I told her, I said, a lot of people looking at Beyoncé, and Beyoncé is a superstar, she deserves that. But Solange has always been different, and if you’re persistent, and you keep believing in something, then you’re gonna create your own fanbase. And she [did that] outside of being in the shadow of her sister.”
On How The Interludes Came Together:
“It’s a conversation. There wasn’t a lot of people in the studio, it was an intimate setting with the engineer and we just talked about what’s going on, looking at issues and looking at what’s going on in the world and also our culture and our differences, so I think it all worked, I think the magic came because it’s from a man and a woman’s perspective in views and values. We both got kids, we both can relate to a lot of these issues. I changed my life because I wanted to be here to see my kids, to be around for them, watch them grow up and I feel like there’s a lot of strong women out there who want the same thing too. Maybe relationships don’t work, you still gotta be a parent to your kid.”
On The Message He Wanted To Convey On The Album:
“[Solange] told me it’s gonna be soulful. There’s a lot of things going on [in the country], a lot of injustice, women not believing in their beauty and who they are. She told me that she was going doing her, she was sticking by what she believes in—she wasn’t trying to make a record for everybody, she was trying to make a record for her fans and also make music that the world could relate to and for people to understand that we are kings and queens.
That’s what I brought to the project, to let the world know that we brought a lot of this gold and diamonds and stones over here to America, so we came here as kings and queens. Look at our cultures—they brought us over here and turned us into slaves but a lot of these African-Americans were kings and queens, and I understood what the movement was with the project she was making and with the police brutality and the African American people that are dying in our culture, she’s about our people and using her voice and standing out and being different. I applaud that.”