Multiplatinum rapper (and not-quite-as-successful Dancing with the Stars contestant) Master P, 38, and his oldest son, Nickelodeon star Romeo, 18, sat down with PEOPLE’s Tiffany McGee to talk about Romeo’s college plans, their basketball battles and what they’re doing to help rebuild their hometown of New Orleans post-Katrina.
ROMEO COMMITTED TO PLAY BASKETBALL AT USC NEXT FALL. DAD, WHAT MOVES DID YOU TEACH HIM?
MASTER P: Basketball started off as a competition thing. We started playing ball against each other.
ROMEO: Yeah, I won all the time. [Laughs]
MP: At first I used to beat him all the time, you know what I’m sayin’? I made him into who he is right now. I taught him everything!
R: I think I taught myself the quickness.
MP: I used to be quick, but now I’m getting older….
WAS COLLEGE ALWAYS THE PLAN?
MP: I made one C in high school and I got my butt whooped. I’m like, “Dad, we live in the projects, man. A ‘C’ is good!” But he was like, “You’re gonna be better than me.” And that’s the same thing I feel for Romeo. You can’t come into my house and not go to college.
R: They really accepted me at USC as an athlete too. My coaches told me that [picking a college] and getting married are the two hardest decisions.
MP: And that other [decision] won’t come no time soon! Let’s get out of college first!
WILL IT BE TOUGH TO ADJUST TO COLLEGE LIFE?
R: My dad raised me really well. I just go with the flow. I’m probably going to study film and business.
MP: I call him Superbaby. He can do everything. But when he gets to college, he’s going to have to be regular like everybody else.
YOU RECENTLY WORKED ON DESERT BAYOU, A DOCUMENTARY ON HURRICANE KATRINA. HOW DID KATRINA AFFECT YOU?
MP: It taught me to be appreciative. When you’re out there searching for your family, no one cares if you’re Master P or Romeo. You feel helpless. We got vans and took people to apartments, paid their first month and last month’s rent, and gave them money to get started.
R: Katrina really hit me. That was my hometown. It was like a nightmare you can’t wake up from. We brought basketball goals and toys there, and we bought diapers for the parents.
MP: I was really proud of him. Don’t talk about it, go do it! That’s the greatest feeling a father could know.
AND YOU’RE SETTING UP A KIDS CENTER.
MP: We’re building the P. Miller Youth Center now. It’s the old fire station in New Orleans. It’ll have a boxing facility, a basketball court, a dance studio and a library … because when we started picking up books, it took our lives to the next level.
R: So before they enter, we’ll be like, “You must read this book—”
MP: “—Or you can’t come in!”
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF DAD ON DANCING WITH THE STARS?
R: Amazing. It was an amazing dance, Dad. Wink, wink.
MP: I was the best dancer on that show! People were telling me, “My grandmother is in love with you!”
R: I was actually supposed to be on the show, but I hurt myself playing basketball. My dad only trained for one day and he took up for me.
MP: I’ll do anything for my kids. Superbaby hurt his leg and Superman came in!