*This April will mark 21 years since Mase threw hip hop for a loop with his abrupt announcement that he was retiring from rap to become a pastor – “effective immediately.” The then 24-year-old Mason Betha was at the top of his game as a multiplatinum-selling artist with Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment. In the three years since he signed, Mase stacked six Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 singles and five No. 1 rap singles. His Grammy-nominated quadruple platinum debut , “Harlem World,” spawned the hit singles “Feel So Good,” “What You Want” and “Lookin’ At Me.”
Then suddenly, he was done…or so we thought. The rapper would come out of retirement multiple times. The first was in 2004, with his comeback effort “Welcome Back.” By then, he had become an ordained minister and would draw thousands of followers between his two churches in Atlanta and Phoenix, noted TMZ, “preaching the virtues of marriage and family values.”
But Pastor Mase began touring again and recording underground material during the mid-2000s, then mounting another comeback in 2009, appearing on remixes like Drake’s “Best I Ever Had.”
But apparently, his flock was not happy with his double-mindedness.
In October 2009, Mase crashed a live radio interview with Diddy-Dirty Money on Atlanta’s V-103, bringing with him documents and a pen for Diddy to sign his release from Bad Boy. Diddy signed the “freedom papers,” telling the audience that Mase “has the freedom to go do whatever he wants to do.” [At the 1:44 mark below.]
But it was later revealed that the paperwork didn’t render Mase’s Bad Boy contract null and void, but rather freed him up to appear on songs with artists from different labels.
In 2010, Diddy finally offered Mase a one-year release from Bad Boy Records as a peace offering. Mase decided to use that time to announce his retirement from rap again, even though he was supposed to re-sign with Bad Boy after the year was up. In December 2012, he announced that he was no longer signed to Bad Boy, and would not likely sign with a major label anytime soon.
Four years later, Mase was back with the November 2017 song “The Oracle”, a diss track at former friend Cam’ron in response to shots fired by the Dipset rapper on his mixtape “The Program.”
That brings us to Mase’s latest surfacing on Friday, when he posted a photo on Instagram of a tweet from rapper Meek Mill about “young black kids in slave contracts in the music business.” Mase revealed that he recently tried to buy back his publishing rights from Diddy for $2 million, but the mogul declined.
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@diddy I heard your #Grammy speech about how u are now for the artist and about how the artist must take back control. So I will be the first to take that initiative. Also, before we ask of other ethnicities to do us right we should do us as black people better. Especially the creators. I heard u loud and clear when u said that u are now for the artist and to that my response is if u want to see change you can make a change today by starting with yourself. Your past business practices knowingly has continued purposely starved your artist and been extremely unfair to the very same artist that helped u obtain that Icon Award on the iconic Badboy label. For example, u still got my publishing from 24 years ago in which u gave me $20k. Which makes me never want to work w/ u as any artist wouldn’t after u know someone is robbing you & tarnishing your name when u don’t want to comply w/ his horrendous business model. However, people would always ask what’s up w/ Mase? So I would be forced to still perform to not look crazy when I was getting peanuts and the robbery would continue. So many great moments and people lives in music were lost. But again, I rode with u in the face of death without flinching & u still wouldn’t do right. I never said anything because I wanted to wait until I was financially great so I can ensured that I was addressing this from a pure place and not out of spite. To add insult, u keep screaming black excellence and love but I know love isn’t free. So I offered u 2m in cash just a few days ago to sell me back my publishing(as his biggest artist alive) that always show u respect for u giving me an opportunity at 19 yrs old. Your response was if I can match what the EUROPEAN GUY OFFER him that would be the only way I can get it back. Or else I can wait until I’m 50 years old and it will revert back to me from when I was 19 years old. You bought it for about 20k & I offered you 2m in cash. This is not black excellence at all. When our own race is enslaving us. If it’s about us owning, it can’t be about us owning each other. No More Hiding Behind “Love”. U CHANGED? GIVE THE ARTIST BACK THEIR $$$. So they can take care of their families