While former members of his congregation are bidding him farewell, fans of former Bad Boy Records rapper, Mase, can rejoice and proudly sing the sampled verse from his 2004 single "Welcome Back", in celebration of his return to the music industry. EUR reported on Monday July 21 that the rapper turned preacher, turned rapper has officially left his parishioners of the El Elyon International Church in Atlanta, Ga to return to the rap game full time.
During the 90s Mase, real name Mason Betha, definitely held a strong presence in the Hip Hop community. His run with Sean "Puffy" Combs and Bad Boy Records granted him a lucrative career in music, and offered several hit remixes that featured Mase and did well on the R&B, Hip Hop and Pop charts. The Harlem native expanded his brand by creating the six member group "Harlem World," which included his sister.
In 1999 Mase announced that he was was leaving the rap industry to answer his calling from God to become a preacher. TMZ reports that Mase and now Ex-wife Twyla Betha, built up thousands of followers and parishioners "split into two churches in Atlanta and Phoenix ... preaching the virtues of marriage and family values." Although Mase stood in the pulpit delivering "the word of God" he never truly disregarded music all together. In fact, Mase has been teetering back and forth between the pulpit and the recording studio for years. He made an attempt to revive his music career in 2009 and also in 2012 there was talk of the pastor/rapper joining G-Unit (the team led by rap mogul 50 Cent) but the deal was blocked because of an existing binding contract between Betha and Sean Combs.
Hip Hop N More released the 2012 article quoting Mase as he explained finally being released from the contract:
Mase has seen a lot in his career. After hit records, retirement and a failed deal with G-Unit, he’s finally trying to make a comeback to the game. He stopped by MTV Rapfix live earlier today and revealed that he’s finally off Bad Boy Records.
“I’ve been in that contract for 16 years. Yeah, the other day he let me out of it, so big shout-outs to Diddy, I guess he woke up feeling good and he wanted to do something good.”
He also spoke on the failed G-Unit deal and admitted that Diddy blocked it because of business issues. Finally, Mase said that although he has a good relationship with Kanye, he’s not ready to sing with G.O.O.D. Music or anybody else at this point.
“At this point, I don’t really want to be under nobody from the aspect of being tied in a long, long contract,” he said. “It’s kinda like breaking up; you don’t want to jump into a new relationship.” - HipHopNMore
But, it's Mase's churchgoers that feel he never really followed through with his break up from the music industry; causing most of them to turn against him for that and also for trying to conceal the break up of his most sacred relationship - his marriage. Back in January TMZ reported that Mase secretly filed for divorce from Twyla Betha and as of now the divorce is final.
He's cut all ties from his marriage,and the pulpit but is back to singing, rapping and showing off his left cheek dimple. He has even re-linked with former Bad Boy executive Sean Combs to do what they were known for best in the 90s - Remixes. Mase can be heard rapping on rapper Troy Ave's "Your Style" remix also featuring T.I. (Listen to the Song)
With lyrics like "I don't trick I pimp/I give no gifts but stick- even on Hannukah. She asked if I'm faithful I said I promise ya/cause if I cheat I'm triple timing ya/cause Mase don't do no welfare/pay for no healthcare/that's what you got Obama for," it's hard to believe that he ever presented himself as a preacher in the first place.
He's also released his own new single titled "Nothing" featuring Eric Bellinger, off the soon to be released album "Now We Even" which MTV News reports will be feature the likes of Diddy, Kanye and Dipset. "Now We Even????" Hmmmm..... one can only wonder if the title is directed toward his ex-wife, Sean Combs or God.