Today in Hip Hop History: August 27, 1975
Mason Durell Betha, also known as Mase (stylized Ma$e) was born in Harlem, New York in 1975. Mase is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, poet, and producer. He was once signed to Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs’s label Bad Boy Records as a prodigy in 1996. His debut in the hip hop world was on 112’s song “Only You” featuring him and The Notorious B.I.G.. One year later, he was featured on Biggie’s RIAA Platinum posthumous single “Mo Money Mo Problems” alongside Puffy Daddy.
By the time Mase released his debut album Harlem World in 1997, he had essentially taken the Bad Boy torch from the late Biggie Smalls and bolstered the label into quadruple Platinum territory. In 1998, Mase created his own record label entitled “All Out Records”. He then proceeded to sign his hip hop group Harlem World to the label.
Mase has not had a stereotypical career in rap. For one, the man has “retired” from rapping at least two times. Once, he left the game to find God. Mase believed that, through his music, he was leading people, friends, kids and others down a path to Hell. He cited that rap was not real life and that he wanted to deal with reality and spirituality. He had become unhappy with what he did and did not care much it paid.
The hiatus lasted five long years, but of course he came back to the game. Released after this five-year break from the music industry, Welcome Back was a direct conception of Mase’s newly developed Christian persona. Mase then took another hiatus from 2007 to 2009, but came back again. Recently, he has been trolling around the hip hop industry, in addition to losing 1.5 Million followers in a day and subsequently deleting his Instagram. Ouch.
Regardless, Mase has released 3 total albums, all of which have became at least RIAA certified Gold. He has featured on 5 Platinum singles and 5 Gold singles, and also collaborated with some of the hip hop greats during the past 19 years. So cheers to Mase, and happy birthday to the former Pastor!