From the Projects to a Penthouse  was originally published on

1. Master P

Master P

Percy Miller aka Master P was raised in poverty at the Calliope Housing Projects in New Orleans, LA.

2. Metta World Peace

Metta World Peace

Ron Artis aka Metta World Peace spent his youth at the Queensbridge Houses located in Long Island City, Queens.

3. Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Karyn Johnson aka Whoopi Goldberg spent the first 19 years of her life in the Chelsea Houses.

4. Mos Def

Mos Def

Mos Def grew up in the Eleanor Roosevelt Houses in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn neighborhood.

5. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah spent her early childhood living with her grandmother on a farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She is now worth a reported $2B.

6. Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry

Tyler spent most of his early days as a playwright living in his car in New Orleans, LA.

7. P Diddy

P Diddy

Sean Combs may be wealthy now but things weren’t always so easy. He was raised in a public housing project in Harlem.

8. Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

As a child, Cosby lived in Richard Allen Homes housing project. Many of the characters in Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids were modeled after people he knew.

9. Chris Rock

Chris Rock

Comedian Chris Rock was raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which is in Brooklyn, New York.

10. Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

McCartney was born in Liverpool, England and his family lived in the Council Houses, the British version of public housing.

11. Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

Snipes grew up in the housing projects named Monroe Houses in the Bronx.

12. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

In 1950, he and his family moved from a shared apartment in Harlem to the Dyckman Houses in Inwood (considered a step up). There he spent his childhood in Building 3 on the fifth floor.