|Full Name||Mason Durell Betha|
|Birthday||August 27, 1975|
Mase, born Mason Durell Betha on August 27, 1975 in Harlem, New York, is an iconic American rapper who reached stardom in the late 1990s recording for Sean "Diddy" Combs‘ Bad Boy Records. His smash hits "Feels So Good" and "Lookin‘ At Me" led his debut album Harlem World to go 4x platinum. After retiring at the height of fame to pursue Christian ministry, Mase made a surprising comeback to rap in the 2000s while still remaining devoted to his faith.
Humble Beginnings in Harlem
Growing up in Harlem in the 1980s, a young Mase was heavily influenced by the burgeoning hip hop scene around him. He started crafting his own raps and eventually formed the rap group Children of the Corn with fellow up-and-comers Big L and Cam‘ron. Mase got his first big break when he caught the attention of a young Sean "Puffy" Combs who was just starting up his now legendary label Bad Boy Records.
Bad Boy Years and Mainstream Success
After releasing his debut single "Murda Muzik" in 1996, Mase‘s career took off with the release of his quintuple platinum album Harlem World in 1997. Fueled by the smash hit singles "Feels So Good" and "Lookin‘ at Me," the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, establishing Mase as one of hip hop‘s newest stars. He became known for his laidback flow and crossover appeal that drew comparison‘s to West Coast rap. Mase shined on collaborations with artists like Notorious B.I.G., 112, Mariah Carey and more.
Shocking Retirement for Religion
At the peak of his music career in 1999, Mase stunned fans by announcing his retirement from rapping after only two albums. He cited a calling from God and disenchantment with the music industry as reasons for leaving fame and success behind. Mase went on to enroll in Clark Atlanta University and became an ordained minister founding his own ministry CAMPHOR.
Brief Return and Recent Work
After a five year hiatus from hip hop, Mase returned with the 2004 album Welcome Back. He never achieved the same level of success but continued to drop sporadic singles and appear as a featured guest on other artists‘ tracks. In recent years, Mase has appeared on VH1 reality shows like Love & Hip Hop and Marriage Boot Camp, all while remaining devoted to his ministry work and status as a pastor.
Legacy as a Hip Hop Icon
Though his time on top was short, Mase had an undeniable impact on hip hop in the late 90s. His unique vocal style and flow inspired many rappers that came after him. Tracks like "Feels So Good" and "Lookin‘ at Me" remain hip hop classics. And though his conversion to Christianity was shocking, Mase will always be remembered as a pillar of the Bad Boy era and one of the decade‘s defining rappers.