COMPTON, CA – As South Los Angeles mourned the death of a local teenage basketball prodigy on Friday (August 7), Master P joined hundreds at a community vigil honoring the teen’s life.
“We gotta stop this senseless killing,” P said at the vigil for slain 14-year-old Semaj Miller, who has no relation to the New Orleans mogul. “We gotta be able to protect the kids. Yesterday we were smiling, today we’re in Compton burying kids.”
P shared footage of the vigil on his Instagram account, reaching out to current NBA stars and ballers who were raised in Los Angeles to spread awareness.
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“We lost a valuable piece of our future, 6’7, 14 year-old Semaj Miller I’ve been taking care of the kids in Compton for over 22 years, they call me Coach P,” he wrote. “Semaj could have been the next @demar_derozan, #KawhiLeonard , @iambarondavis @russwest44 @caronbutler @ygtrece @iamraymondbrothers #JamesHarden or @kingjames , but he was gunned down in LA, now we will never know.”
He added, “I’m praying for the family, for their peace and justice. We are supposed to be preparing our kids for college not for a funeral. R.I.P. young superstar Semaj Miller. I know you are balling up there in heaven, you will never be forgotten.”
Miller was shot and killed in South Los Angeles on July 29. The 6’7″ small forward earned comparisons to current NBA stars Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis, according to Compton High basketball coach Tony Thomas.
“If he stayed in line, did everything he was supposed to do, he wasn’t going to college — he was going straight to the NBA,” Thomas told local station KTLA.
P’s connections to California date back to the early days of No Limit Records, when it was a record store located in Richmond, Calfornia. His presence is Compton has been well-documented, as he and his family have taken part in an annual free Thanksgiving dinner program. Remaining close to the community has always been big in P’s plans of giving back.
“I deal with inner-city youths in some of the worst areas, and I focus on the youth because I feel like the younger kids, they need that start to be the next President, the next professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, teachers,” P told HipHopDX. “They just need that preparation in the ghetto, in the community. So that’s why I focus on that, and I go to the worst places.”
He added, “People tell me, ‘Why do you come here to these worst places?’ I say, ‘Where else I’m supposed to go at?’ Because that’s where I come from, so imagine I save somebody like me, and there’s thousands of us, hundreds of thousands of us, millions. I think that’s what it’s about.”
The New Orleans’ mogul’s legacy has come back into the spotlight as BET has aired the five-part docuseries No Limit Chronicles highlighting P’s business acumen, community involvement as well as the rise of his No Limit imprint.