Best Songs: "Last Dance," "That's How We Break Bread," "Walk Like a Killer," "i'm Bout It, Bout It"

Master P was one of the greatest trendspotters in the history of hip-hop. A visionary, P could spot the next big thing quickly, and was right there to capitalize when it popped off. It might have been happenstance that P and his two brothers stayed in the red hot Bay Area in the early-to-mid-90s, or perhaps P had an intuition that it was the place to be for a rising independent rap label. Despite being from New Orleans, everyone thought P was from Cali when he first began to garner national attention.

While living in Richmond, California, P, Silkk and C-Murder linked with California natives King George, Calli G and Big Ed to form the six-man group The Real Untouchables, better known as TRU. The group dropped two obscure albums (1992’s Understanding The Criminal Mind and 1993’s Who’s Da Killer) but didn’t gain traction nationally until 1995 when P scored his landmark distribution deal with Priority Records. True is chock full of Yay Area mob music, heavy on California synths and sounds, and featured underground legends like C-Bo. Despite Cali’s dominant influence on the album, True’s biggest hit was “I’m Bout It, Bout It”—the sole southern-sounding record on the project. There’s no doubt that after P saw the response to “Bout It,” he packed up his army and headed back to the Bayou.