Words by Roman White


Ma$e’s name has been making its rounds throughout the Hip-Hop community after he released his diss track ‘The Oracle,” aimed at Cam’ron. Cam’ron later responded with “Dinner Time,” but many people in the Hip-Hop world handed the Dipset CEO a loss to the former Bad Boy Records artist.

With his name buzzing again, Ma$e did an interview with Tidal’s Rap Radar Podcast to talk about, among other things, his surprise departure from Bad Boy Records.

The Harlem MC says in the interview that he left Bad Boy in pursuit of finding himself. “I felt like I had a lot of money, but I didn’t really know who I was,” said Ma$e. “I knew I had to do something other than just Hip-Hop.”

Ma$e would go on to explore religion which he implores was a gift for him that may have been even greater than his gift with music.

As a Bad Boy Records artist for 16 years, Ma$e started out writing lyrics for Bad Boy Records CEO Puff Daddy before building his brand as a feature on tracks like “Mo Money Mo Problems,” which featured label mate Notorious B.I.G. and “Can’t Nobody Hold me Down” with Puff Daddy. The “Lookin at Me” rapper would come into his own spotlight with the Grammy Nominated Album “Harlem World.”

Ma$e followed up his Bad Boy debut with the 1999 release of “Double Up,” which Ma$e admits in the Rap Radar interview was a darker version of himself. After the release of his sophomore LP, Ma$e made the conscious decision to step away from music not only to find himself, but to get away from the tragedy that was associated with Hip-Hop in the mid to late 1990’s.

“It’s death all around me,” said the “Breathe, Stretch, Shake” artist. “It’s no way you can have three to four deaths around you, and it not to change you.” Ma$e was referring to the prominent artists who had passed away during this era in Hip-Hop.

“I’m doing rap, I blow up instantly. I got the whole neighborhood looking at me for everything. I’m still a kid and you got one of your best friends die in Bloodshed, another friend die over something else. You got Biggie die, then you got Big L die. It’s death all around me. It’s no way you can have three to four deaths around you and for it not to change you.

The platinum-selling recording artist dismissed any accusations that he was scared of the sub-culture of violence within Hip-Hop. “I wasn’t scared, it’s just common sense,” he said.