EDITORIAL: Do You Care That Ma$e Is A Free Agent?
On December 12, rapper/pastor Ma$e announced on MTV’s RapFix Live that Bad Boy boss Diddy finally let him out of his contract after being on the label for 16 years. He also claimed that if he would sign to an artist the only two would be Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint or to Drake who recently signed his OVO label to Warner Bros. Records. This is great news for the Harlem native but should fans be excited to hear a new album from the former Harlem World general?
To me, Ma$e will always be on my radar due to he was on the first rap song I remember hearing on the radio when the “Been Around the World (Remix)” was released in 1998 (I was seven years old at the time).
Even though I didn’t really understand what they were talking about, Ma$e stood out to me because of his flow, which still sounds the same today, and the Roy Ayers sample of “Feeling Good” was too smooth to deny. A couple of years later, one of my brothers were playing his debut Harlem World and I asked for a copy. It is still one of my favorite albums ever.
By the time he did his first comeback, I was excited but I wasn’t feeling his happy raps but it was something positive that the industry was and is still lacking in the mainstream. When he decided to joined forces with G-Unit on his second go-round I was confused. Why did you become a pastor and then turn around and link yourself to 50 Cent? Diddy didn’t let him out of his contract and an album never materialized but he did release mixtape hosted by DJ Whoo Kid titled Crucified For the Hood. It was sad to hear him rapping about spilling Hennessy on women in the club especially when you consider how family friendly his Welcome Back album was.
This year he was very active in working with other artists. He started the year on Wale’s “Slight Work (Remix)” along with Diddy, Meek Mill, and French Montana. Afterwards, he added a verse to Miguel’s hit record “Adorn.”
When G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer album was released, many were shocked to hear the former Children of the Corn member on the project and he gave a solid verse on the track “Higher.” Last month, when Bad Boy/Maybach Music Group artist French Montana, who has worked with Ma$e since 2009, released his Mac & Cheese 3 mixtape, Mr. Betha was on the song “Grownups” kicking his playboy lyrics with his golden flow that made his so popular on R&B songs in the late 90s.
Heading into 2013 as a free agent, many labels may be interested to see what Cam’ron’s former best friend has to offer. He might take the route of releasing a mixtape to increase his buzz or he may continue to use guest appearances on records to stay talked about. Regardless, as long as he doesn’t end up sounding like Shyne, people should be intrigued at least to see where he wants to go with his music. If we learned anything from 2 Chainz it’s that you’re never too old to make it back into the game.