With yesterday being Veteran's Day, we at the Weekly were reminded of how the late 90s wouldn't have been the same without the contributions of Master P's No Limit Soldiers. From their beginnings in California through their rise to national prominence with some of New Orleans' finest, No Limit Records was one of the decade's most undeniable rap juggernauts. From their army motif to their basketball cameos to their memorable cover arts, No Limit's unforgettable imagery almost overshadows how great some of the label's output truly was. It is with a combination of “UGHHHHHHHHHs!” and “NA-NA NA-NAAAAAAAAAs” that we look back at the No Limit soldier essentials.
5. Tru f/ Mia-X “I'm Bout It, Bout It” 1995
The first truly monster hit for the label, Tru (AKA “The Real Untouchables”)'s “I'm Bout It, Bout It” was an inescapable hit that catapulted the foreboding New Orleans sound into the gangsta rap soundscape. The song became No Limit's original flagship hit, spawning P's first direct-to-video full-length movie of the same name, as well as a tribute cover from Cam'Ron's group The Diplomats years later.
4. Soulja Slim f/ The No Limit Soldiers – “NL Party” 1998
The closing track off his debut album Give It 2 Em Raw, Soulja Slim's “NL Party” captured the type of energy that the label's gigantic posse cuts always brought to their releases. With P cranking out new No Limit albums like Pokemon, fans loved getting their first glimpses at their No Limit favorites as well as the label's future stars on every release.
3. Fiend, “Talk It Like I Bring It / Mr. Whomp Whomp” 1999
While he's currently enjoying arguably the best post-No Limit career with a series of well-received mixtapes and frequent collaborations with Curren$y, it's easy to forget that Fiend has always been one of the most enjoyable rappers on the planet. These two songs (in one video! Thanks music video trends of 1999!) displays the diversity in Fiend's musicality, capturing so many wonderful element of New Orleans music and combining these influences into one of the label's most unique sounds.
2. Silkk the Shocker f/ Mystikal – “It Ain't My Fault Part 2” 1998
Choosing between the two versions of “It Ain't My Fault” is one of the most painfully challenging questions you could ever ask a hip-hop fan. But, no matter which one you choose, you have one of the most infectious hooks in the genre's history. While it's technically a Silkk the Shocker song, Mystikal shines in both versions, using one of his most galvanizing flows to stack complex rhyme schemes that parallel each other.
1. Master P. f/ Fiend, Silkk the Shocker, Mia X, Mysikal – “Make 'Em Say Ugh” 1997
By utilizing the fun call-and-response party vibe that hip-hop was built on, Master P turned his No Limit franchise into absolute pop superstars with “Make Em Say Ugh.” One of the decade's biggest rap singles, the infectious sing-along hook became instantly imitable by anybody with the ability to grunt. Combining that pop majesty with one of the most unforgettably stylized videos of the 90s, and you have a single that's nothing short of iconic.