Music History
8.6k readers

Whatever Happened To 1990s Rapper Ma$e?

Updated November 14, 2018 8.6k views11 items

Have you ever wondered what happened to Ma$e, the nineties hip-hop legend? After all, in the mid-to-late 1990s, Bad Boy Records ruled the music charts with artists like the late, great Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Lil' Kim, Faith Evans, and - of course - Ma$e. In particular, Ma$e's style of pop-rap - led by his solo hits "Feel So Good" and "What You Want," along with features on smashes like Brandy's "Top of the World" and Mya and Blackstreet's "Take You There" - made the Harlem-born artist a household name. That is, before he retired in 1999 after only two albums. So, where is Ma$e now?

The past 18 years have given rise to plenty of fascinating stories about Ma$e. After "retiring," he went on to become a pastor; however, his life was far from pastoral as he and his wife split up and his flock wasn't crazy about him. Ma$e also un-retired a handful of times, hip-hopping back and forth between the church and the recording studio. Ever wondered: Is Ma$e still rapping? Yes, and he's been doing so on-and-off for years. Recently, he even reunited with his Bad Boy family for a reunion concert.

  • He Retired And Became A Pastor

    Video: YouTube

    Ma$e's debut album, Harlem World, was a huge hit, and he was even featured on several smash singles from Puff Daddy's No Way Out. But when it came time to promote his sophomore effort, Double Up, Ma$e made a complete about-face - he decided not to perform any of his songs, opting for spoken-word performances instead, and soon chose to enter the church as a pastor.

    Instead of promoting secular values, Ma$e began touting family, marriage, and Christ from the pulpit.

  • Ma$e Reunited With Diddy Five Years After Retiring

    Video: YouTube

    After leaving Bad Boy Records in 1999, Ma$e linked back up with his former mentor Sean "Puff Daddy"/"Diddy" Combs in 2004. The Harlem rapper released his third album that year, which he called Welcome Back, featuring a single of the same name. His lyrical material was lighter and less sexual than it had previously been; however, his music didn't set speakers - or charts - on fire.

    Around the same time, Ma$e made some high-profile musical appearances, first on Kanye West's, "Jesus Walks," and then on Fat Joe and Terror Squad's hit, "Lean Back."

  • Ma$e Got In Quite A Bit Of Legal Trouble

    Video: YouTube

    Ma$e has definitely had some legal woes over the years. In 2012, a jeweler claimed that Ma$e owed him $35,000. Then, in 2014, a model sued him for using her likeness without her permission to promote his new single - he lost the lawsuit and had to cough up $7,500. And in 2015, he was hit with a tax lien for more than $12,000.

  • He Enrolled In College

    Video: YouTube

    Not long after entering retirement, Ma$e decided to go back to school. In 1999, he enrolled in a bachelor's program at Clark Atlanta University where he lived off campus and kept a pretty low-profile.

    He attended college for a year, majoring in mathematics; he'd also previously studied at SUNY Purchase for a time.