Master P Announces New Food Brand to Replace Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben's
The Uncle P's Louisiana Seasoned brand will sell beans, grits and rice, and pancake mix, and a portion of their profits will benefit Black communities.
Last December, New Orleans rapper, producer, music exec and seemingly inexhaustible entrepreneur Master P put on a chef's coat embroidered with the name Chef BoyAr P and launched his own line of individually packaged ramen noodles. "I grew up on noodles now I created my own brand. Start small and build. Get you some product if you want to be successful," he wrote on Instagram. "It's nothing like this New Orleans flavor, creamy chicken and gumbo. You can cook it on the stove or you can put it in the microwave.”
It's totally unsurprising that Master P, whose real name is Percy Miller, wouldn't be satisfied if he stopped with Rap Noodles—or with a single supermarket aisle. He has since announced that he's releasing his own line of Uncle P's Louisiana Seasoned foods as well, which will include beans, grits and rice, as well as pancake mix, syrup, and oatmeal. He told Yahoo Finance that he was inspired to expand his presence in the food space after realizing that brands like Quaker Oats and Mars Inc profited from using the images of Black individuals—like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben—but that the sales of those products didn't benefit Black communities.
"When you look at Aunt Jemima, and you look at Uncle Ben, we don’t own those products, we never did,” Miller said earlier this summer. “We need to understand that we’re not going to be able to put money back in our [Black] community because we don’t own those brands. Our grandparents [have] been having us buy those products because they think it’s people that look like us.”
A portion of the profits from the sale of Uncle P's products will be donated to programs that further the education of kids in America's inner cities, to those who provide assistance for the elderly in Black neighborhoods, and used to develop real estate projects in those same areas.
"When you look at Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, a lot of those products are mockeries of African-American people and couldn't even feed our communities," he told CNN. "With Uncle P, the more we make, the more we give. And the only way to give is by owning these products [...] If they made billions of dollars off Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, imagine how much we'll make to give back to our own community. It'll be us helping us without having to wait for the government. We can actually change the world."
In the early 1990s, Master P was a struggling (but eternally motivated) rapper who sold copies of his tapes out of the trunk of his car. Thirty years later, he's turned his independent record label, No Limit Records, into one of the cornerstones of a legit business empire. Four of his studio albums and three of his soundtracks have gone platinum, if not triple- or quadruple-platinum. He has appeared in dozens of films and TV series, and he has been signed to two separate NBA teams. He has also given his time (and made considerable financial donations) to several philanthropic causes.
Last year, he partnered with businessman James Lindsay to re-launch Lindsey's Rap Snacks brand, which feature flavors of potato chips, cheese puffs, and popcorn that have been selected by hip-hop artists like Cardi B, Migos, and Lil Yachty; the snacks have since been placed in more than 4,200 Walmart stores throughout the U.S. “It's all about the blood, sweat, and tears and saying that we are entrepreneurs,” he told ABC Audio. “So that's my involvement in getting into this, because I say, ‘You know what? This [is an] entrepreneur, I'm an entrepreneur. Imagine what we could do together.’"
Miller also has a restaurant, Big Poppa Burgers, just outside of New Orleans. Its concept is based on a fictional burger joint that was featured in one of his movies.
Imagine what he could do, indeed.