Wal-Mart finds rappers Master P, Romeo a fashion fit
By Kamau High
NEW YORK (Billboard) - Master P and his son, fellow hip-hop hit-maker Romeo, have agreed to relaunch their P. Miller Designs apparel line exclusively through Wal-Mart, Billboard has learned.
The father-son duo's brand of men's apparel will be available at about 350 Wal-Mart stores starting in July and will include graphic T-shirts, fleece hoodies and fashion denims. The P. Miller line was last available at such retailers as Kohl's and Mervyns "a few years ago," Master P (aka Percy Miller) said.
The veteran rapper said that Wal-Mart was a logical vendor for P. Miller Designs, which he described as "high fashion at an affordable cost." Master P said he has shifted most responsibilities for the clothing line to 18-year-old Romeo.
"Wal-Mart stands for everything P. Miller does," he said. "It's America and diversity. Our whole thing is price point. I want to put out affordable clothes where the masses can buy them."
Wal-Mart's partnership with a former gangsta rapper like Master P might seem surprising. But the hip-hop artist and entrepreneur has cleaned up his image in recent years, thanks in part to the success of Romeo (formerly Lil Romeo), who has charted with kid-friendly rap hits and starred in his own show on Nickelodeon.
Indeed, Wal-Mart's sale of P. Miller Designs will be its second partnership with Master P. The big-box chain is the exclusive physical retailer of Master P and Romeo's 2007 CD, "Miller Boyz: Hip-Hop History," the first release on the elder rapper's profanity-free Take a Stand Records imprint. (The album is also available for download at online music stores.)
Master P has launched other urban clothing lines through the years, including P. Miller Signature and P. Miller Shorties, a collection for children. Master P and Romeo won't be the first celebrities to sell a branded apparel line exclusively through Wal-Mart, though. The retailer sells girls fashions named after tween sensations Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
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