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Ma$e

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Ma$e

Mase (a.k.a. Ma$e or Mason Bethel; born August 27, 1978) is a popular American rapper, best known as Notorious B.I.G.'s protégé music group Junior MAFIA (which also included Lil Kim) and sidekick to P. Diddy (then Puff Daddy) for a brief period before he began a solo career. He originally went under the persona "Murder Mase" and was part of Big L's group, Children of the Corn. Though his first album, Harlem World, appealed strongly to a mostly new demographic for rap, younger children and pre-adolescents due to its simple rhymes and beats, Mase retired in order to become a preacher just before his second album was due for release.

Though critics despised his blatant pop leanings, Harlem World was a huge hit thanks to its massive lead single, "Feel So Good", which featured guest rhymes from Mase's mentor, P. Diddy, as well as a very obvious sampling of Miami Sound Machine's 1980's hit, "Bad Boys". Harlem World also spawned several singles that became successful on urban radio and BET, but did not "cross over" to the pop charts or enjoy high rotation on MTV; for example: "What You Want" (featuring Total), "Lookin' At Me" (featuring P. Diddy), and "24 Hours To Live" (featuring The Lox, Black Rob, & DMX).

In 1998, Mase was featured on Brandy's second album's second single, "Top Of The World".

Mase's second album, Double Up, was released, despite Mase's stated misgivings considering his newfound religious convictions as he became a born-again Christian. He has since published Revelations: There's a Light After the Lime.

In May 2004, Mase released his first single since becoming a preacher. Entitled "Welcome Back", the song caught on quickly despite Mase's 'one-hit wonder' reputation. The song's chorus directly lifts from the Welcome Back Kotter theme song, and was heavily promoted by P. Diddy as his first hit in seven years. With his new clean image, Mase is currently attempting to regain his place as a player in the rap industry, while being a positive role model to his young audience.

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