Can Mase make a Comeback?

15 Nov

MaseBy 1996, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs had led Bad Boy Records to become the most-respected record label in hip hop. He had taken over R&B with Faith Evans and The Notorious B.I.G. was the biggest rapper in the game. Late in 1996, Puffy decided to build his second string, starting with Mase.

Before he made it big, Mase was known as a fierce, hardcore rapper. Murda Mase, as he was called, was a lot of things, but commercial was not one of them. Too bad for Murda Mase, renamed Mase, Puff Daddy was all about commercial rap. When 1997 came around, he had Mase rapping on remixes of many popular R&B acts.

Early in 1997, after the tragic death of The Notorious B.I.G., Mase was forced to step up and become the new star of the label. While the death of Biggie was a major blow to the Bad Boy powerhouse, the hits kept coming behind Mase. Once his debut album, Harlem World, was released, it quickly went 4x platinum.

For the year of 1998, Mase rode the wave of his first album. Sean Combs had him back doing collaborations with R&B acts. Late in 1998, it was announced that Mase was returning with his second album, Double Up. By 1999, it was clear that Mase was the most popular rapper in the game, but with stock rising in Jay-Z and his crew and a change of heart from Mase, things were about to change.

While promoting his sophomore album, Mase announced that he was retiring from rap music in order to become a pastor. He soon left music and opened up a church in Atlanta. For five years, Mase worked as a devoted pastor. In 2004, Mase felt that he was being led back into the rap game. Instead of doing what he did back in the day, he decided to come back as a “clean” rapper.

The comeback of Mase made a few headlines, but with rappers such as 50 Cent and his G-Unit making names for themselves as “gangsta rappers,” there was no market for a clean rapper. As a result, after the promotion of his album ceased, Mase disappeared. He decided that it was best for him to return to hardcore rap, so he partnered with G-Unit. After one year of hardcore rap, Mase went away for good.

In 2005, he and Sean Combs had a highly-publicized dispute over his contract at Bad Boy Records. Ever since he retired from rap, he was not allowed to collaborate with anyone on a track that would make their album. Pretty much, Combs had frozen Mase. He had promised a comeback in 2009, but he was not released from that contract until last month.

Now, Mase is out of his contract and he is ready to party like it is 1999. It may sound like a joke now, but Mase was rap’s MVP at one point. Many people, especially Diddy, always wonder what could have been with Mase had he stayed. The world will never know the answer to that, but Mase is no longer a clean rapper and he is no longer a gangsta rapper. He is back to normal.

Recently, Mase reached out to Chris Brown for a collaboration. Can Mase make a comeback?

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