Words by David D.
Many labels/crews promise to release albums from all of their members only leaving us waiting for (or forgetting) an album from “Crewmember A” is supposed to come out. For better or worse, this didn’t happen with No Limit. 23 albums. The label dropped 23 albums (each equipped with it’s own phonetic spelling) in 1998. That’s almost two albums a month! These guys flooded the market in ways Lil’ Wayne could only dream of.
There were commercial successes with Master P’s MP Da Last Don, Silkk’s Charge It 2 Da Game, and Mystikal’s Ghetto Fabulous. These albums, powered by mega-singles such as “It Ain’t My Fault” and the rambunctious “That’s That Nigga.” The crew also put out some straight bangers with the underrated Fiend album There’s One in Every Family and Mia X’s Mama Drama. While Silkk, P, and Mystikal were making grand strides to the mainstream, Fiend and Mia X had the hood’s ear.
Look a little closer and you’ll see some hidden gems from artists whose careers ended too soon. Soulja Slim released a slept on Give It 2 â€˜Em Raw while C-Murder was repping on the terribly prophetic Life Or Death.
If you want to actually go to the record store and cop these albums, there’s no need to try to look them up by title or artist. Just look for the portion of the store with the most light reflecting off, because 21 No Limit albums meant 21 faux-diamond encrusted lettering and shitty photoshopping. The albums are collectors items just for the sheer hood-campiness they provide.
From Master P all the way down to Skull Duggery, No Limit flooded the stores, guaranteeing that everyone out there had to be a fan of somebody on the labelâ€¦right?
Words By Darius Sinclairâ„¢
As Dr. David D. so eloquently touched on the hurricane that was No Limit Records, Master P, we must say, was a marketing genius and a rapacious CEO. He built up his company with awesome instrumentals from Beats By Da Pound (the Organized Noize of New Orleans) and staying consistent with dropping a CD every 2 to 3 weeks. With that said, in contrary to the words of Dr. Dre, quantity is better quality. But regardless of the seemingly indulgence of material from No Limit, Master P himself, seemed to bless us with more solid releases.
Of all of P’s albums, 1998 seemed to be the year he wanted to show off and release the best CD of his career, his so-called “retirement” album. MP Da Last Don was released on June 2nd in stores, and June 3rd, my birthday, in the local corner stores for $5 with the faded CD or cassette booklet (bootleg). The real cover was holographic, with motions of P swinging his precious-stone incrusted cane across the front. He stood below a green tinted Al Capone suite rocking the Penguin’s top hat.
The album was awesome compared to ’98’s standards: A shiny exterior, 2 CDs/tapes, and the catchiest grunts and moans since Hogan left wresting in ’93. But seriously, Da Last Don had something for everyone. From the intro “Da Last Don” to “Let’s Get ‘Em”, P gave gangster inspirations and usually added a little monologue at the end with words of wisdom, which often went overlooked. Songs for lost ones and other emotional material were present as well such as the political “Black And White”, the ‘maternal ode’ “Mama Raised Me.”
Master P and company are known for their party staples and Da Last Don was no exception. “Thinking ‘Bout You”, “Thug Girl”, and “Make ‘Em Say Uhh #2” all got continuously played that summer. Shockingly, wordplay was not missed from this attempt. Most notably “Hot Boys And Girls” featuring the original cash cows of No Limit. The inanimate object concept remains one of the most creative tracks in the No Limit library. And Snoop came through and blessed “Snitches” with rememberable lyrics:
“I caught a nigga one day jumping out of a cop car/I ain’t saying no names but this nigga’s a rap star/Walking real fast then he dashed in my backyard/O’ buff ass nigga perpetrating to act hard/In the front seat with no cuffs on…”
I always wondered who that was.
Master P didn’t retire like he claimed after this hood classic, however. And like Jay-Z and Jordan, coming out of retirement wasn’t a good look. But unlike Jay-Z, he didn’t bounce back with a great album. Eventually, he wisely passed the crown to Little Romeo, settled down with his self-made $100+ million or so, and danced with The Stars. Even though some despise Percy Miller for his selfishness and gluttony, we all can blame ourselves for purchasing 10 of those 20-plus No Limit CDs and loving MP Da Last Don in 1998.
Master P – Da Last Don
Young Bleed – My Balls & My Word
Silkk The Shocker – Charge It To The Game
C-Murder – Life Or Death
Mystikal – Ghetto Fabolous
Snoop Dogg – Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not Be Told
Mac – Shell Shocked
Fiend – There’s One In Every Family
Big Ed – The Assassin
Kane & Abel – Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
Mia X – Mama Drama
Souljah Slim – Give It 2 ‘Em Raw
Full Blooded – Memorial Day
Prime Suspects – Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent
Steady Mobbin’ – Black Mafia
Various Artists – I Got The Hook Up! OST
Magic – Skys The Limit
Sons Of Funk – The Game Of Funk
Mean Green – Major Players Compilation
Ghetto Commission – Wiseguys
Skull Duggrey – These Wicked Streets
Gambino Family – Ghetto Organized
No Limit Soldiers – We Can’t Be Stopped Compilation