NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - He's a hip hop mogul, reality star, father, and entrepreneur, but today Master P is playing one of his favorite roles -- life coach -- and taking us along.
We're riding in the back of his limousine, heading to Frederick Douglass Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a tough neighborhood that didn't even have a high school until 2001, to talk to the kids about education and financial literacy.
Master P says education changed his life. His hope today is to inspire the kids at Frederick Douglass to believe that their education starts there. He wants them to be proud to get good grades, because those grades could change their lives, too.
Master P says when people tell him he's a square, he responds, "Yeah, but I'm a rich square." In fact, Master P is a rich square who was worth $350 million in 2013, according to Forbes. But it wasn't always that way. Master P grew up in poverty in the projects of New Orleans.
He wants the next generation to see his humble beginnings and realize they too can use their education to do something more. In the classroom, he talks to the kids about financial literacy, and how to manage money. He shares a story of Miss Irene, an older woman in his neighborhood, who always told him growing up "Bright Eyes, you're going to be a star," when everyone else said he was going to be nothing.
Looking at the class, Master P tells says they're going to be stars too, they just have to believe it. And he asks them to repeat after him: it's easier to catch up now than to catch up later.
Leaving the school, Master P says he saw a lot of future millionaires, before jumping back in the car to head to the Plaza Hotel to talk with us about business, and turning down his first million-dollar deal.
Master P says he was down to his last $500 and the owner of a record company, who had just signed Puffy and Suge Knight, offered Master P $1 million and told him he was going to be the next star. That record label owner was Jimmy Iovine. Master P, shockingly, turned Iovine down.
Waking away from that money opened the doors to another deal that was far more lucrative. It was an 80-20 distribution deal that paid Master P 80 percent. He believes that deal not only changed his life, but was a game changer in the industry.
When asked about the smartest investment he's ever made, Master P says he's been working on the Master Camera for the last 6 years. It's due out soon and lets you download your videos direct to YouTube.
As for his worst investment? Putting gold ceilings in his home. P says he never got his money back out of that.
As for his fortune, Master P says he doesn't live for money, he makes money. Being from New Orleans, he knows that the hurricane might wash everything away, but the strong people will get back up. He compares himself to instant grits, and says just add water to him and he's going to be all right.