This is not the No Limit Records that we remember from our youth. It has evolved. The ambition that fueled a young Master P has now spawned an empire, and the No Limit Forever label is reflection of that. With a roster full of artists armed with both lyrical and business abilities, this new version is poised to take the game back, using the blueprint that they themselves invented.
Leading the pack is none other than Master P’s protégé, Bengie B. A Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, Bengie B has been making waves throughout the South and is now poised to step into the national spotlight. Combining lyrical depth and tales from the hood, Bengie B is quickly giving voice to a young generation longing to hear about more than fast cars and women.
A young businessman in P’s own image, Bengie is also stepping into new ventures, and will be appearing in Master P’s forthcoming new movie “Get Money,” which will also features Gucci Mane. But music remains his passion. In the following interview, AllHipHop.com finds out directly from Master P what made him place Bengie at the forefront of No Limit Forever, and why he has so much faith in him:
AllHipHop.com: How do you differ from other artists, not only in Baton Rouge, but also on your roster as well?
Bengie B: First off, I feel like I differ from other artist because I make more heartfelt music that more people can relate to. Right now, I feel like ain’t nobody really touching on the topics that I’m touching on. It’s only so much shining you can do, so much stunting you can do; I like to touch on other topics, deeper topics. You can feel me when I’m talking which is why people can relate to me.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think it is that Master P saw in you that made him place you at the forefront of the No Limit Forever?
Bengie B: I think it’s my versatility and my work ethic. I’m a hard worker and he sees that I’m really hungry. I came from the same place that he came from, and I think I that he sees a lot of himself in me, so I think that’s why he became so attached to me; to make another person like him.
AllHipHop.com: There are some artists who haven’t had great experiences from their labels; do you think that No Limit is a good fit for you?
Bengie B: It feels genuine, it feels like family. There’s no other place that I would want to be but with No Limit. Coming from where I’m from in Louisiana [Baton Rouge], we looked up to ‘P like no other. I’m with the right team, I feel good, and I’m confident.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think that you will have any problems appealing to markets outside of the South?
Bengie B: I get messages from everyone from the U.K. to Dubai, telling me that they love my music and that it does something for them, they can feel it; and that means a lot to me. I know that it’s farther than just Baton Rouge.
AllHipHop.com: We’re kind of just being introduced to you but how exactly did you get into the game?
Bengie B: I’ve been rapping since 6th grade, it started off with poems then I got into music. I started recording in 8th/9th grade, saving my little money up just so I could get studio time and cut records. I just wanted to get my stuff out in my area as much as I could, and that’s how P heard me. It’s like music has always been there, I could always listen to my music and it take me to a different place, no matter what was going on in my life or what I was going through, I just put on my music and it took me to where I wanted to go to. I just kept writing about, about my struggles, my happiness, everything I go through. I want people to feel me, because I have a story to tell and I think that there are a lot of people like me. I’m a real person. In the music industry there’s a lot of sugar coating and I like to keep it real.
AllHipHop.com: It seems as if P is more concerned with putting out a quality project versus just trying to push a project out; do you feel that this has given you time to put together a quality project?
Bengie B: I mean the timing is right now. We’ve been at this for a minute, we waited until the time was right and now that he says that we’re ready…we’re ready. I feel like with every song I grow. P waited until he felt like it was my time. Now it’s my time.
AllHipHop.com: What was it about Bengie B that made you want to place him at the forefront of the No Limit Forever?
Master P: He represents the brand to the fullest; he has the talent, he’s been loyal, he’s been groomed for this and the industry needs him. We understand that he is this industry’s next big star; like he said, they can feel him. People want regular people that they can touch, and they want what’s real. That’s what he represents for this generation. Being able to see the good and the bad that I have done helps him to understand even more.
I’m grooming everyone around me to be entrepreneurs, not just artists. This is his business too, so we’re in this 50/50. He wants to make money, and so do I. He wants to be successful, and I want to be successful. This is us regaining our title back, and it’s going to take real, authentic, artists to bring that to the table. We do need someone to represent us, and he’s prepared to do that.
AllHipHop.com: You have an excellent reputation as an entrepreneur, so it seems as if you’re trying to instill that in your artists as well.
Master P: This is a business. Like B said, we’re not doing this to be stunting or shining, we’re doing this to feed our families. If we can’t feed our families off of what we’re doing, it doesn’t make sense. We’re also getting into the movie business, so you will see B starring in our new movie Get Money with Gucci Mane.
I did this before; the difference is now we’re just taking the brand and restarting in Baton Rouge, and there’s nothing bigger than him there. Even though we come from the streets, we come from the struggle, they want something out of life, they understand life, and something better for their families, and that’s why I’m so attached to them, I knew if I made the right moves I could take my family out of this struggle.
AllHipHop.com: It seems as if you have chosen to rely strictly on the music without the benefit of gimmicks or things of that nature.
Master P: Nah, we’re not into that. The thing about us is we have real relationships, we’ve been around each other a long time and that’s why we consider each other family. You know how some people just, sign a bunch of artists, we’re not into that. When we go into the road or go on tour, everybody knows everybody. This roster is really family. This is what we do. We feel as if 2012 is ours. It’s a whole new movement.
AllHipHop.com: So, what are your plans for 2012, is it all about Bengie and if so will his project drop anytime soon?
Master P: Yeah, he has a mixtape coming, he’ll be the first to drop a mixtape and then we’ll release the album, but our whole goal is to take over for this summer. To do a lot of tours and appearances for the radio, for different cities, just getting on the road and touching the people. A lot of these B and C markets where a lot of these bigger artists aren’t trying to go to.
We’re going to the 'hood, we know where our market is and we’re reaching our people.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have a tentative release date for either the album or the mixtape?
Master P: His mixtape “Ben Raw Ben Real” is coming in April, the first week of April.
AllHipHop.com: Bengie, have you had any comparisons with any of the other new artists or rosters out right now?
Bengie B: I was always taught that an original is worth more than a copy. I make it a point not to do what other people are doing, if everybody is going right I’m going to left. From all the fans I have so far they tell me that I’m original and I like that. I can only do me, I can only do Ben. I can only talk about my life and what I’ve been through.
Master P: We don’t do no hate. We don’t do no beef. We want everyone in this new generation to have fun and do their thing, just appreciate us and know that 2012 is our time.
Everybody gets a time. If you look at the All Star Game, the Dunk Contest, it was a whole different roster, and completely different people. We’re not trying to do what other people are doing, we’re starting from scratch. Starting from the bottom and rebuilding our way to the top. That’s what No Limit Forever means. Build that fan base, get out there and touch those fans, show them that we’re unique.
AllHipHop.com: So you’re basically going off a blueprint that you invented?
Master P: The only thing that changed is that it’s a digital game now. You have to be able to change with the times. You have to be able to reach the streets and reach the internet. It’s a different game, I had to go everywhere, sell my music out of the back of my trunk. Right now, you can have a huge single and have people in other countries catch a hold of it.
I think from being able to come from one era of music, and to still have the swag to be relevant with this time period. That just comes from studying the music, preparing, and having an open mind to this new generation of music.
I feel like I’m Phil Jackson and my team is the Lakers.
AllHipHop.com: Have you embraced the digital age or do you shy away from it?
Bengie B: I have a facebook and a twitter that I check daily. I interact with my fans, but P told us to stay out of beef and things of that nature. We don’t get into all of that.
The music speaks for itself, once you listen to my music; you basically know everything about me. I speak from my heart, and people can feel it.
Master P: In 2012, the real will recognize the real. If you can’t beat us, you might as well join us, but you not going to stop us. I’m the Godfather and Bengie B is the Tony Montana of this game. We the world’s most dangerous record company, you know why? We’re educated, and we’re street.
We’re about getting money; everybody else wants to be famous, we’re going to show them how to get money.
Find Bengie B on Twitter (@Bengie_bee). or visit www.nolimitforeverrecords.com.