Gerard Spinks as The Underground Millionaire

An Urban Content Development Agency and Magazine

Master P success stories from Oakland

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In 1991, I was deep in the bay area hip hop music scene. I had met Master P over at my people’s business; Phunky Phat GraphX at Underwood Works in deep East Oakland. At the time, I ran a hip hop clothing company called Tribe Zulu Sports. All of my friends were doing hip hop music out of necessity. Hip Hop record labels had closed their doors on black music.

Master P, JT the Bigga Figga, Rappin’ 4Tay, E40, Adisa Banjoko and others were all my friends who would wear my clothing line to their shows, on stage, in front of cameras, and on Chuck Johnson’s Soul Beat black television show in Oakland. At the time, Master P was struggling like we all were to learn how to be a millionaire and and be a successful entrepreneur.

I was busy emulating FUBU and Karl Kani and trying to get my clothes on the backs of every single West Coast Rapper that I knew which was everyone. With the help of my staff that included Leah Harmony, Adisa Banjoko of the Hip Hop Chess Federation, and Jon Paul Champion, I would slowly build a good reputation and sell my clothes into retailers in the San Francisco Bay area. I also worked with my boi Lauchlan McIntyre who owned the 4080 hip hop magazine out of Santa Cruz/Berkeley California.

Master P and his brothers used to come to my house in East Oakland, have barbecue’s, and play basketball together. We used to always chop it up about black owned business and what it took to grow our young black business into a success. Being a business entrepreneur was not easy and Master P had gone through some crazy situations with this white dude Jason Blaine who ran a label called In A Minute records over off San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, near Your Black Muslim Bakery.

The one thing P and I used to always discuss was marketing and how to become a millionaire through merchandising of clothes. At first, Master P wore my hip hop clothing line Tribe Zulu clothes at his shows and when he filmed his videos of The Ghetto’s Tryin to Kill Me. After our discussions about the clothing industry and mainly about merchandising as it came to rap artists, he decided that he should create his own hip hop clothing line No Limit Clothing and wear all of his own shit.

We used to always say to ask the question “what do I need you for” when doing business in order to cut all business expenses and become a successful entrepreneur. From these early discussions with my friend, Master P, I really learned that being a millionaire is a having a millionaire mindset. Being a millionaire is not necessarily what you have today. Master P came to my studio in an old Pinto car that has mother owned. He drove to me so he could pick up gear that I gave out to him and his brothers before their shows. We were all broke at the time but we had a millionaire mind. The rest is history.


Written by undagroundmilli

September 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm

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