Not long after rapper Mase (born Aug. 27, 1975) signed on with Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records, he became a household name. Combs brought him in as a featured voice on the Puff Daddy solo tracks “Can't Nobody Hold Me Down” and “Been Around the World,” as well as The Notorious B.I.G.'s “Mo' Money, Mo' Problems” – a massive hit that established Mase firmly in the big time, leading to his four-million-selling debut LP Harlem World in 1997.
Mase stepped back from the game for a while – a “retirement” that led him to become an ordained minister and enroll in college – but after five years away, he returned, albeit to a somewhat diminished commercial presence. That didn’t matter much, because everyone from Brandy to G-Unit wound up wanting (and getting) Mase to work with them. This extensive list of collaborations has many highlights – here are just a few.
Busta Rhymes feat. Rampage, Sean “Puffy” Combs and Mase, “The Body Rock”: Maybe the smoothest track Busta Rhymes ever growled on, and who better to do the smooth thing than Mase? You can practically slide around on his verse.
50 Cent feat. Lloyd Banks, Prodigy, Spider Loc & Mase, “I Don’t Know, Officer”: This anti-snitching anthem is menacing for everything it doesn’t say, and though Mase seems slightly out of place in such environs with voices like 50 Cent, Prodigy and Lloyd Banks, his hook and verse are quite effective.
The-Dream feat. Pusha T, Mase and Cocaine 80s, “Higher”: This track, from a Kanye West-curated compilation, is built around The-Dream’s AutoTune-enhanced vocal. When Mase spits his verse, he stays mostly on one note, but the content of the verse is multilayered – bragging about the good life, while also being real about how he got and stays there.
2 Chainz feat. Lloyd and Mase, “Beautiful Pain”: The “pain” here is the pain of growing up with little, then taking to the streets to better one’s position in life. Mase drops his verse just slightly off the beat, an approach that, combined with the sad tale he tells, helps him go right to the heart.
Steve Aoki & Bad Royale feat. Mase & Big Gigantic, “$4,000,000”: The real prosperity gospel, spiked with synths and horns, with Mase showing the wannabe high rollers how prosperity’s done.