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As a boy growing up in New Orleans in the 1970s, Percy Miller—the hip-hop mogul better known as Master P—says his goal was to live to see 19. At that time, Master P says New Orleans was the murder capital of the world, and he lived in one of the most dangerous housing projects in America.

“I didn’t have much. I made the best out of what I had, but I had big dreams and big goals and big vision,” he says. “I always knew that one day I was gonna make it out if I worked hard.”

By the time he was 24 years old, this self-made man had released his first album and started his own record label, No Limits Records. “I said, ‘I gotta work hard. I want to be able to buy my grandmother a house. I want to be able to buy my mom a house, my dad,” he says. “If I believe in this music, I gotta go hard. I gotta do something that nobody’s done.’”

Today, this entrepreneur and single father lives in Los Angeles with his children. Watch the above video to find out more about the early days of Master P’s music empire.

Master P’s reality TV series, Master P’s Family Empire, premieres on Reelz on November 28, 2015.