Former Bad Boy Records rapper Ma$e recently discussed his unexpected 1999 retirement from hip-hop and said despite his multiple comebacks he has no regrets over the decision.
Although he later snubbed his retirement by dropping 2004’s Welcome Back LP, Mason Betha said he fully stands behind his moves.
“Some people, after years, they look back and say, ‘I wish I would not have done that,’ but even though I know the things its cost me, I can honestly say I’m glad I did it because it taught me so much — it taught me who I was and that music didn’t make me.” As his star began to rise in the heyday of Bad Boy, Ma$e was still attending school at Clark Atlanta University, where his relationship with religion grew organically. “It would be like Drake dropping music today and going to college,” he said. “I’m in religious class, I’m in math class and people are looking like, ‘Is Ma$e in my class?’ When I would leave the class people would just be drawn to me, asking me life questions, so that forced me to start reading the Bible.” (MTV)
Earlier this year, the Harlem, New York rapper explained why his latest hip-hop return is legit.
“Flex, let me tell you something before I go, though,” Ma$e said, “I can only do music if I can do it the way I can do it. That’s what be making me stop. I don’t want to do music in a box. Like everybody say what I can’t do and he can’t say this, but if you need me to come do something for you, I’ve gotta be able to come to that event. So I’m taking all the limitations off. They gonna have to pray for me. I regret not giving myself room for growth. That’s what I regret. I went so hard left that I didn’t really leave no room to be an individual, a human being. … I still put God over music any day. I just didn’t give myself room to grow. I went from one extreme to another extreme.” (“The Funkmaster Flex Show”)
Back in 2009, Ma$e discussed his retirement from rap due to a new-found perspective on Christianity.
“I think people look at me like I’ve taken the step that people are most fearful of taking,” he said in an interview January 2009. “It’s not just the giving it up; it’s the sticking with it. Like most people have seen a lot of entertainers entertain the thought, but we haven’t seen many stick with it….In order for people to understand, you have to take them from where you were, to where you are. So in taking people from where I was, it would require you to do music that exemplified where you were, then if I would have stayed in it, I was going to musically bring them to where I am. But then I started seeing that what I’m thinking and what they’re thinking is totally two different things.” (Phoenix New Times)
The 37 year-old rapper has not released a retail solo album in nearly ten years.
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. (All Music)