Ma$on Betha: Power Of The Dollar
I was Murda, P.Diddy named me pretty//Did it for the money, now can you get wit me?…
Before Ma$e was a shiny suit wearing Bad Boy, he was known as Murda Mase. He was part of a famous underground rap group called Children of The Corn with Big L, Cam’ron, Bloodshed and McGruff.
After Children of the Corn disbanded, Ma$e travelled to a Jack The Rapper convention in Atlanta ,where he first met Puff through Jermaine Dupri. Puff was in Atlanta heavy back in the 90’s and had managed to get Ma$e to sign to Bad Boy Records. (Before Ma$e signed to Bad Boy, he was managed by Dee from Ruff Ryders. Dee gave Puffy, Ma$e and The Lox.)
His debut album, Harlem World landed in 97 and it was full of hits. It’s actually a well balanced album between street joints and crossover records. The Shiny Suit Era was in full effect. A sold out tour, and some important features, attributed to the album going 4x platinum. I think he was the first NY rapper to do a Southern collaboration on The Player Way.
No doubt about it, Mason Betha was ballin’. Even his group, Harlem World managed to go Gold.
Ma$e had become the prototype rapper. To be successful now you had to be able to make those tracks for the streets, and then be able to smooth it out with some crossover hits. He just had a smooth cadence. At the height of his career, your favorite RnB singers wanted to collaborate with him, I guess he just had that perfect 16.
What Goes Up…
Fact is, Ma$e was just everywhere. Dude was oversaturated at one point. Critics started claiming his music lacked depth, others said he had completely sold out. On the other hand, the streets got too hot for Ma$e. It’s alleged that he had smashed a notorious Harlem drug lord’s baby mother. As a result of his actions, members of his crew were getting robbed and beat down to send a message to him.
However, Ma$e genuinely wanted to leave the rap game before that beef happened.
After the murders of Biggie and Pac, Ma$e had some sort of crisis, believing that rap music was leading people astray. He was scaring staff with his outlandish statements. There was a time backstage on tour when he told Foxy Brown that “rap music is from the devil”. He refused to do any promotion for his second album, Double Up, although the album managed to go Gold. Next thing you know , he was a preacher in Atlanta!
Practice what you preach..
I have no idea why he became Murda Ma$e again. I guess the money was too much to refuse. He was still contractually tied to Puff, so he had to be make some more music sooner or later. His comeback album, Welcome Back, went Gold as well as having a Gold single.
Sidenote: (This is where the 50 Cent vs Puff dispute started.)
There’s still offers from Sony and E1 for Ma$e to release an album. Personally, I can’t see there being any point. He made his money, waved his Rollie in the sky, and repped Harlem World to the fullest. Plus he once said rap was from the devil, so that right there should automatically stop him from ever rapping again.
(Spins around, while waving Rolex in the sky, in honour of Mason Betha)