Hip-hop artist and New Orleans native Percy Miller, also known as Master P, spoke to ESSENCE.com about his participation in this year’s ESSENCE Festival, his love for his family and giving back to others.
ESSENCE.com: What does hosting the family- and community-focused seminars during the ESSENCE Festival’s Empowerment Experience mean for you and your children, Cymphonique and Romeo?
Master P: As a parent, you always want your kids to be wiser than you and make better decisions. We want people to see how far we have come as a family. Being from New Orleans, it’s so important for us to touch people from our community. Our message is going to be that there is no perfect family. We all make mistakes.
ESSENCE.com: Since you’re from New Orleans, what do you love about the city?
Master P: I love my people. There’s a whole different culture of people who love each other and would do anything for each other. There’s a lot of love in New Orleans.
ESSENCE.com: You must be especially happy about what the ESSENCE Festival brings to New Orleans.
Master P: Yes, the Festival brings excitement, hope and a revenue stream for the city. The hotels will be sold out and businesses will be doing great. It’s what New Orleans needs.
ESSENCE.com: What are you and your children working on now career-wise?
Master P: I have two new singles out: “Letter to My Daddy” and “Woke Up a Millionaire.” My daughter, Cymphonique, has an album coming out called Passion, and her first single is “It’s My Party.” I’m working with Romeo on new movies he’s filming right now. We have a lot of going on. It’s a blessing that my family is able to work together, and I’m amazed at where we are.
ESSENCE.com: And you’re also big on giving back to others.
Master P: We have a foundation called Let the Kids Grow to teach kids the importance of higher education, making sacrifices and following their dreams. We have an after-school program that motivates kids through dance, art, film and television. The organization is based in New Orleans and Louisville now and our goal is to have it in cities across the country. Let the Kids Grow is about being able to help the next generation.
Check out the other inspiring speakers on this year's ESSENCE Festival lineup.