Move over Cookie, Master P wants to show the world what a real music “Empire” looks like. The music mogul is opening the doors to his family home for the Reelz series “Master P’s Family Empire.”
Master P, whose real name is Percy Miller, is a single father who made it his mission to forge the Miller family empire.
The one thing Master P wants to do differently is to debunk many of the stereotypes about the music industry that have served as plot points in the FOX series “Empire” or other music-oriented reality shows.
“This is not like a make-believe empire. This is the real empire. We come from the struggle. We changed our lives. My kids have real talent. We are a musical family. For us to be able to be here and rise among all those things that happened, it was a struggle,” Master P says during an interview at the Television Critics Association meetings. “You’re going to see how we really live and what we really do. I also have some younger kids that come from the streets that are changing their life that I’m mentoring their careers and managing their careers too.
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“You’ll actually see where this empire come from, where it started at, where we are going, the evolution of us. It’s going to be magical.”
Just as Cookie, the character played on the FOX series “Empire,” found out, children can complicate the process. Master P has five offspring ranging in age from 9 to 25.
Romeo’s the oldest who has found success in music, TV and film. His sister, Cymphonique, is an actress, singer, dancer and writer. Veno is forging a career in modeling, while the youngest members of the family, Hercy and Mercy, are working toward careers in basketball.
“When you look at reality TV, you look at a lot of negative things that happened. But I also wanted to show the positive things that happened in hip hop without family stereotype. Romeo went to college. Veno went to college. Cymphonique’s going to college. My boys are in school,” Master P says. “And we want to show that the entertainment side of this, but also the business side, and also, you know, we’re not a perfect family, but we realize that the values that we have, that hopefully other families are going through those same things in their lives.
“To me, it’s more about showcasing what hip hop can go to.”
Master P knows both the personal and professional sire of the music world. He’s a self-made music mogul who grew up in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in New Orleans. Since establishing his music career, Master P has sold more than 75 million records.
His children have established their own musical careers, a necessity because Master P’s parenting philosophy is “I’m your father, not your friend.” He’s supportive of his children but at the same time expects them to be self-sufficient.
Master P’s life has always been about hard work.
“I feel like when you talk about family empires, you got to look at us with all the dues that we paid to get here. It was a struggle. It wasn’t like Master P, here, you coming from money, you’re going to be successful,” Master P says. “No, it was a real struggle coming from nothing.
“And the most important thing, we’re also able to give back and touch other people and reach other people.”
The series focuses on Master P and his children as he and his ex-wife, Sonya Miller, were dealing with divorce proceedings when the series was being shot. At that time, Master P wasn’t certain whether his ex-wife would be on the show. Part of Master P’s plan for his reality show to stand out as different is to keep everything positive.
That works when talking about his children but not necessarily with his ex-wife. But he’s not completely ruling out her being on the series.
“So as the show lasts and go on, as relationships grow and people grow up, you never know,” Master P says.
Master P’s Family Empire
- 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, Reelz