Hip-hop is a culture of self-invention, and there are few examples of self-made men quite as impressive as grassroots hustler Percy Miller. His career charts an alternative map of ’90s hip-hop, from the East Bay to New Orleans and every small town in between. He cornered the markets major labels ignored, eventually building a No Limit empire that didn’t rely on traditional outlets — TV, radio, magazines — for its expansion. Ice Cream Man was his first platinum record, and it ushered in the label’s golden age. Within a couple years, everyone would recognize those Pen & Pixel covers, the Beats By the Pound funk and P himself, as he parlayed his newfound American dream into straight-to-DVD stardom, a side-gig in professional wrestling and a tryout with the Hornets.
By Hua Hsu on 05.22.12 in Lists
"Underground" is one of those tantalizingly vague terms that's always on the verge of obsolescence until some mouthy, hungry new rapper comes along and reanimates it. Whether it was being dismissed as a fad, derided as a...
By Hua Hsu on 08.29.11 in Spotlights
With his strident falsetto and taste for grandiose, imposing production, it is easy to hear the influence of Pat Grossi's training as a choir singer on his debut album, You Are All I See. What might be less obvious is th...
By Robert Ham on 02.25.15 in Features
From Shania Twain to Patrick Wolf, these musicians couldn't leave well enough alone and rerecorded their work.
By Beca Grimm on 02.23.15 in Features
"I was amped up, ready to go for it. And I did — several times…but people said, 'A Deaf rapper is impossible.'"