Hip-hop was at its commercial (if not critical) peak in 1998, and no outfit was bigger than No Limit. Master P built an empire, free of major label backing, becoming a gazillionaire in the process. His albums were movies, with casts of dozens of artists: Silkk Tha Shocker, Mystikal, Lil' Romeo, Mia X, Fiend, C-Murder, just to name a few (seriously). Snoop also signed over there, briefly. Master P was putting out movies, with his signees getting screen time; each was accompanied by a requisite soundtrack album. It was synergy at its finest.

But then everything got overextended: Master P was a WCW wrestler for a little bit, and he kept trying out for NBA teams. Mystikal left for Jive and got a No. 1 album; new artists (including a very young Curren$y) weren't hitting the way they were supposed to. In 2003, the label filed for bankruptcy—No Limit had reached its credit limit.