No Limit Records is still the #1 Independent Record Label in the world and has sold over 100 million records. They recently launched a reunion tour that kicked off in Denver and is currently on a U.S. run. Master P has gathered his No Limit Soldiers in celebration of their 20th year anniversary. Performing some of the greatest hits from the No Limit catalog, the energy and excitement have been igniting arenas nationwide with Master P, Mystical, Silkk The Shocker, Fiend and Mia X amongst the performers.
We caught up with Fiend after the Denver stop to discuss the tour and some of his memories from his time on the label.
How’s the tour going?
The tour is going great. We just rocked Denver, Colorado and shut that shit down. Hit some dispensaries, spread some love. Did a meet and greet, it was dope. I look forward to the next show.
Are you getting a chance to hear fans share their memories of No Limit with you?
Oh man, to the fullest. That’s what they do. People want to connect with something that they can feel. That’s why we’re still able to tour 20 years later. We’re getting with people who enjoyed that music. Theirs younger fans sharing their first impressions of growing up with a big brother, cousin, uncle, or auntie who put them on to the music. It’s been serious. Meeting people for the first time who’ve been jamming you since middle school, high school. They’ve been bumping your shit, supporting you for all these years, not knowing that they’d get a chance to meet you. It’s been awesome.
Are there any particular things that they’ve been commonly sharing?
Their love for Mac, their love for C-Murder, best wishes on them coming home. They’ve been sending their condolences for Souljah Slim, Magic and his wife, Big Ed. It’s like a family reunion and we’re just catching up. They get it all out. Some people are cheering, some are smiling, some crying. It’s a wide variety of reactions to their first impression of meeting the people that were responsible for the greatest music they heard in a certain era. They let loose.
What are you and the other artists reminiscing about?
Backstage we’re just getting our game face on. We’re happy to see each other. Having a little catch-up time. Just asking each other how the family is. Asking what’re you working on, can I be helpful? We’re just happy to see each other. For some people, it’s been a minute. All of us aren’t working in the same areas.
When you were on No Limit how competitive was it amongst the artists?
It was a little competitive, but as a label, we were just going to conquer things together. If you wanted to get on certain songs you had to have yourself together. If you didn’t have it together you might miss that number. You might miss that boat brother.
When you went to No Limit you were already established in New Orleans and regionally. Were there any difficulties integrating your brand into No Limit?
Nah, I just went in there and automatically got to it. I just got into it. I never thought about who I had to compete with. I was too young and just had my vision. I wanted to be the best rapper in the world, the best artist I could be, the best performer. I wanted to bring the best attributes to the company that I possibly could. That’s why you heard me on everything, you saw me on everything. I was trying to make my brand just as big. That’s why it continues to be a big success to this day.
Do you remember the first time you said “Whomp Whomp.”
Yeah, it was the Silkk the Shocker “I’m A Soldier” song.
What was the reaction? Did you know you had something?
Yeah. I knew I had something just walking in the booth. The reaction was they stopped the music and asked me what the fuck did I just say? I said it again and KLC said: “whatever you just said, say it again.” That was the birth of it right there.
What do you think the best No Limit cover was?
It’s hard to say. It’d have to be something like There’s One In Every Family, Master P Da Last Don, Mia X Unlady Like. Probably one of those. Charge It 2 Da Game was hard as fuck too. Those covers stuck out to me. Ghetto D was dope as hell too.
Do you think Master P is underrated artistically?
I don’t know, I don’t know what the specs are on that. I don’t know what the statistics on that are. All I know is he told me he was going to be one of the greatest hustlers who ever lived, not one of the best rappers. I can’t really comment, that’s not why he got in the game.
I always thought he didn’t get credit for the artistry of his vision and the ability to put it together.
I mean everybody plays their part. If you know your part and play it you can be great. If you don’t, you’ll try to do someone else’s job and that may not be your strongest ability. If you spread yourself thin you’ll only get little pieces of greatness all over the place. If you focus on the one thing that you can focus on being great at, maybe you’ll be the greatest ever.
What was it like at No Limit when Master P was trying out for the N.B.A.?
It was dope. It was when I had to take full effect and do most of the choruses that P would have done. Just playing my part. A lot of us stepped up to fill the void while he was playing basketball and we kept getting this money. All of us played our part in continuing and making our shit go.
What were your expectations when Snoop joined the label?
I thought it was dope. I thought Snoop was a great addition. He’s a great addition anywhere. We would just as soon have him on records with that Beats By The Pound sound. He brought his years of experience and energy. He brought the Dogg Pound. Everything he brought from the west coast was some great energy for us. I just thought it was dope. Here’s someone who I had bought his cassettes and CDs, who I was a fan of. Now I’m able to network with him as an artist and have personal experiences with him. I thought it was a hell of a move and a great addition to the company.
Did you foresee how much chemistry you would have with Snoop musically?
I didn’t know. I couldn’t have predicted how much music we would make. Music that people have heard and haven’t heard. Being around greatness makes you want to be greater. I think that when you throw us in the pot together those ingredients have no choice but to gel.
When people discuss Mac his situation often overshadows his music. What was Mac like as an artist?
Mac was the dopest. There was a point in time when he was my favorite emcee. He was an all-around good artist. Very creative, very poetic. Some might not like the comparison, but Mac was like our Nas. If Nas was from New Orleans instead of Queensbridge. He’s one of a kind.
What about Young Bleed, what do you think of him musically?
Another dope artist. Great storyteller, unique voice. He’s been the spokesperson of Baton Rouge.
You’ve discussed the necessary work ethic of a No Limit artist. How many hours are we talking about a week?
It’s hard to say. I literally stayed up for five days straight when I first got there. So just imagine. We’d just stay up for days. When we were waiting to record me and Mac would have freestyle sessions. It would have been something special if they had been filming that. It was more than a full-time job, we were working well over a hundred hours a week. It could be more. When you want it, you want it. With all the practice we had you couldn’t help but get better.
What was making the No Limit movies like?
Making the movies was dope. We were just so focused we never really got out and about. We never stopped working and went out as much as we should have. Making the movies was fun. Being on the west coast and chilling while we’re working was everything. I’ve seen some wild shit. Shit that you wouldn’t believe. All types of dope experiences. Memories that I would never trade for anything.
What do you remember about Romeo growing up?
Putting his bedroom together in the country club. Putting the football field print carpet down. The bed with the cartoon characters that kids were into at the time. He came and told P that he loved the room that we had put together for him. He was a real kid. I remember playing video games with him, the stand-up arcade games.
What’re you promoting right now?
I got a new album coming out, Under The Cajun Moon. Make sure you get that, that’s going to be everywhere. We still pushing the Sleepy Bear Tees. I’m in a new movie that’s getting rave reviews, The Fiddling Horse. I just produced 80% of NFL Toon’s latest album. He’s very dope, he’s catching a major, major wave. I have a studio, open to the public in New Orleans, called Rebuilt By Us.