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Master P's Main Goal Growing Up? Just Make It To Age 19

"When you live in the ghetto, when you grow up in struggle and poverty, you don't know how long you're going to live."

While some celebrities say their youth centered on putting on performances for their friends, expressing their creativity and dreaming of going into the entertainment industry, a young Master P had a slightly different experience. Growing up, the hip hop artist and self-made music mogul certainly did have a focus, but it wasn't initially on making albums, climbing the Billboard charts or becoming beloved by millions. It was about survival.

As a boy, Master P lived in a New Orleans neighborhood surrounded by poverty and violence. As he tells "Oprah: Where Are They Now?", it was a hardened environment in which to grow up.

"At the time, New Orleans was the murder capital of the world, and I lived in one of the most dangerous projects in America," he says.

As with many others in the area, Master P's family certainly struggled. "I didn't have much," he says. "But I made the best out of what I had."

Though he says that this lifestyle made him tough, the 48-year-old adds that there was a dark shadow of uncertainty that plagued those in the community.

"When you live in the ghetto, when you grow up in struggle and poverty, you don't know how long you're going to live," Master P says. "My goal was to live to be 19. It's sad, but it's a harsh reality."

By the time Master P had reached this goal, he was a hip-hop-loving college student studying business. Despite the economic hardship that had been such a familiar part of his upbringing, there was one thing Master P always seemed to have in excess: determination.

"I always knew one day that I was going to make it out if I worked hard," he says.

Making it out of the projects wasn't just a life he wished for himself, but it was also a way for Master P to provide for the rest of his family -- and he knew it wouldn't be an easy journey.

"I said I got to work hard. I want to be able to buy my grandmother a house, I want to be able to buy my mom a house, my dad... But I had to do something. I had to do something with my life," Master P says.

That "something" turned out to be music, with Master P releasing his first album and starting his own record label by the time he was 24. He has since become the CEO of his own business empire and has sold millions of records worldwide, being dubbed "the godfather of modern hip hop" and generating a worth estimated around $350 million. In the early stages of his career, though, Master P knew that only one thing would help him reach the top.

"If I believe in this music, I got to go hard," he says. "I got to do something that nobody's done."

Master P opens up about his rise, his music and his family on this weekend's episode of "Oprah: Where Are They Now?", airing Saturday, Oct. 10, at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

For more from "Oprah: Where Are They Now?", visit wherearetheynow.buzz.

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