• Music History

Whatever Happened To 1990s Rapper Ma$e?

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.

  • 2017 Marked A Major On-Stage Comeback For Ma$e

    Video: YouTube

    Technically, Ma$e never officially signed onto G-Unit and was still under contract at Bad Boy, although he didn't release any new music under that imprint after 2004. By 2009, Ma$e was asking Diddy to release him (Bad Boy has a notorious reputation when it comes to dealing with artists' contracts), but this wasn't made official until 2012.

    Since then, Ma$e has released one-off singles featuring the likes of Eric Bellinger and Jennifer Hudson. Most recently, he reunited with the rest of the Bad Boy Family on its reunion tour.

  • Ma$e Was Managed By Magic Johnson

    Video: YouTube

    In the late '90s, former basketball great Magic Johnson turned to music management. He signed a bunch of prominent R&B and hip-hop artists including Ma$e, Kelly Price, and Boyz II Men. At the time, Johnson said,

    "We play ball, we work out, we talk about different things. What Ma$e needed in his life was a man who could understand his goals, his dreams, and also what he's going through as an artist, and I know all of those things."

  • He's Still Feuding With One-Time BFF Cam'Ron

    Video: YouTube

    As childhood friends, Ma$e and Cam'Ron (born Cameron Giles) grew up together in Harlem rapping and playing basketball. The two, along with Herb McGruff, the late Bloodshed, and Big L, formed the hip-hop group Children of the Corn, but split after Bloodshed's passing in 1997. Each went on to solo-stardom (Cam with Roc-A-Fella and Dipset), but the two became fiercely competitive.

    Rumor has it that Ma$e tried to get Cam to pay him $40,000 to appear in Cam'Ron's 1998 music video "Horse and Carriage." Their relationship reportedly deteriorated quickly after that. Cam has since claimed that Ma$e only started going to church to avoid becoming a target of violence, then took the ruse too far by becoming a pastor.

  • He Linked Up With 50 Cent's G-Unit

    Video: YouTube

    After releasing Welcome Back, Ma$e didn't keep up his Bad Boy affiliation for long, turning instead to up-and-coming superstar 50 Cent's G-Unit to raise his profile. Reassuming his original moniker, "Murda Ma$e," the rapper took a more aggressive approach to his music.

    Understandably, that shocked the reverend's fans, but luckily for them, Ma$e didn't stick around with G-Unit for that long.