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Mase

Best known as Puff Daddy's favorite sidekick, Mase secured his place as a Bad Boy label favorite through a series of guest appearances on hit singles by other artists. By the time he issued his debut album, the Bad Boy promotional machine had effectively already made him a star. His flow was slow and relaxed, and his raps often unabashedly simple, which helped make him especially popular with the younger segment of Puff Daddy's pop-rap audience (they could understand him and rap along). Of course, he was never much of a critical favorite for exactly the same reason, but that became a moot point when, just before the release of his second album, he announced his retirement from rap to pursue a career in the ministry.

Mase was born Mason Durrell Betha in Jacksonville, FL, on August 27, 1977. His family moved to Harlem when he was five, but at age 13, he was sent back to Florida amid concerns that he was falling in with the wrong crowd. He returned to New York two years later, and began rapping to entertain the other members of his school basketball team. He was a good enough basketball player to win a scholarship to SUNY, but hip-hop soon grew to be more important; under the name Mase Murder, he joined a rap group called Children of the Corn, which disbanded when one of its members died in a car accident. Mase went solo and started making connections around New York's hip-hop club scene. In 1996, he traveled to Atlanta for a music conference, hoping to hook up with Jermaine Dupri; instead, he met Sean "Puffy" Combs, who signed him to Bad Boy after hearing him rap.

Mase debuted on Combs' remix of the 112 single "Only You," and quickly became a near-ubiquitous guest rapper on Bad Boy releases and other Combs-related projects. He was a credited featured guest on the Puff Daddy smashes "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" and "It's All About the Benjamins," handled the first verse of the Notorious B.I.G.'s number one hit "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems," and made prominent appearances on Mariah Carey's "Honey," Brian McKnight's "You Should Be Mine (Don't Waste My Time)," Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s "Young Casanova," and Busta Rhymes' "The Body Rock," among others. By showcasing Mase in such high-profile settings, not to mention spotlighting him in several videos as well, Combs ensured that by the time Mase actually released his own album, every hip-hop fan in America would already know who he was.

Thus, when Mase's debut album, Harlem World, appeared in late 1997, it was an instant smash, spending its first two weeks of release on top of the Billboard album charts. It was a star-studded affair, naturally featuring Combs (both rapping and producing) and a galaxy of guests: Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, DMX, Lil' Kim, Monifah, 112, the L.O.X., Eightball & MJG, Black Rob, and Lil' Cease, not to mention additional production by the Hitmen, Jermaine Dupri, and the Neptunes, among others. Reviews of the record were mixed; some critics praised Mase's unique rapping style, but others were far more harsh (this writer is fairly sure it was Ira Robbins who called Mase "the luckiest no-talent sidekick since Ed McMahon"). Nonetheless, Harlem World was a smash hit, eventually going platinum four times over; its first single, "Feels So Good" (which also appeared on the soundtrack of Money Talks), was a Top Five pop hit, and the follow-up "What You Want" was a fast-selling success as well.

In the meantime, Mase's string of guest spots continued unabated, with appearances on Brandy's "Top of the World," Puff Daddy's "Lookin' at Me," Cam'ron's "Horse and Carriage," 112's "Love Me," and the Rugrats soundtrack collaboration with Blackstreet and Mya, "Take Me There." In April 1998, Mase made headlines with his arrest in New York on disorderly conduct charges (he had initially been accused of soliciting a prostitute, which he denied). But the controversy was short-lived, and by year's end Mase had put together his own group of protégés, also dubbed Harlem World, who issued its debut album, The Movement, in early 1999. With Puffy's Bad Boy empire still riding high, Mase's second album, Double Up, looked to be another blockbuster. But shortly after it was completed (and before it was released), Mase stunned close associates and observers alike by announcing his immediate retirement from the music business, calling it incompatible with his new calling to the ministry (he'd experienced a vision of himself leading people into Hell). He refused to promote Double Up with any live performances, although he did give interviews on its behalf. Perhaps it was the lack of promotional support, or perhaps audiences gave up their investment in him, but Double Up made a disappointing chart debut at number 11 upon its summer 1999 release, and only reached gold sales status. Mase worked extensively with inner-city youth, became an in-demand inspirational speaker on the religious circuit, and published a memoir titled Revelations: There's a Light After the Lime. He returned with a new album, Welcome Back, in 2004. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Good song
When I first heard this hook back in the day, I was in junior high and it was Kool and the Gang who dropped this jam! Today we got rappers sampling and my kids grooving to this.
mase is some straight s**t cam ate that n**gas lunch f**k mase the only thing that chump was good at wAs gettin outa dodge when the chips were down
Mase wasn't on Its All About The Benjamins
Mase had a smooth, chill, laid back kind of style. Too bad he retired so early.
Mase is now a man of god
Where u at mass we need u back
I miss Mase...He said forget that Illuminati crap and got the heck out of dodge. btw follow me on IG TROLLDOLL88 & twitter YOFAVORITE_D A E
Mase was the man back then I really like miss him
mofo is doo doo no talent a** clown u suck
Mase nice on mic
Ma$e rap style is the worst
I LOVE ..love..love . . h i m
Made we really badly need u back the rappers today know nuntin bout rappin
Man mase was always the wave wish he was still making them hits MASE WE NEED YOU BACK!!!!!
dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually work
dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually work
Made was the s**t back the day had me I'm gonna go find him when I turn 18 still bump Harlem world to this day
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters this is scary because it actually works!
Thumbs up
This song dope
his lyrics not that hott but Mase brings me back to the 90's so he's all good in my book..
I love the way he dances
sucks but held east down 4 a min. wow
uuuuuuu dont really like mase but the first 2 seconds of this song had me going
gonzales5912
Mase raps like a 1st grader. HE SUCKS!
"Feel So Good" was the first rap song I ever listened to. I remember thinking it was the best song I had ever heard and that Mace was HOT. That was the day I stopped listening to Country and fell in love with Rap and Hip-Hop. Love ya Mace!
he has some good music n one of my fav rappers
Mase is the truth!
kristinmgran t
i love his voice his face mmmm
He always been one of my favorite rappers
mello1027
I always liked mase music.
i like this guys musak peace
he is tight i had never heard of him
christychmbr s
mase is tight if you dont like it eat a dick :D
flraction
yeah ursulagriest - iam glad too. Puff Daddy is death- ask Craig Mack or any of the 'making the bands' .
SETH ROWALT YOUR GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL YOURSELF
mase is going to hell he his a lame
What happened to his other albums 1995-1998?
I've been a fan of Mase for almost 10 years. I'm glad that he made it and I knew he would blow up and get way from Puff Daddy.

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