IS MASE THE GREATEST POP RAPPER EVER?
Forget the boiler suits made of foil, the boy could rap.
With a pearly-white grin as big as the moon and a repertoire of strange but alluring dance moves, M-A-Dollar Sign-E was the epitome of pop rap. Marketed as a shiny suit and a smile, Ma$e shucked and jived his way to the top of the charts, discarding his street name of ‘Murda Mase’ – and underground clique Children of The Corn (which included BIG L & Killa fuckin Cam) – for a shiny boiler suit made of foil with a big ‘$’ on the chest and a target board on the back. Mason Betha played the reliable Robin to Diddy’s scene/limelight/royalty stealing Batman. Wherever Sean was, Mason followed.
Expensive champagne was popped, white linen suits were rocked in the desert, Bentleys were blown up by Molotov Champagne cocktails and purists were pissed off. All the while, Diddy & Mase were using 100 dollar bills to cool off their 80s club hit-stealing faces. Sure, they did a lot of stupid dancing, some would say on the graves of Kool Herc and whoever else started hip-hop, but Mase’s flow was like butter sliding down the tongue of an obese music mogul with heart problems.
Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down was like Bohemian Rhapsody for people who just discovered what ‘Playa Hatas’and Rolexes were, and Mase’s debut Harlem World was a checklist of songs made for girls who don’t normally listen to rap ie people who actually buy records. What separated Mase from rappers like Nelly or a Chingy, was the fact that he wasn’t a cornball. Fuck the purists, Mase was cool. You wanted to be just like him, a laid back bro in cool jackets making near-perfect cameos on R&B jamz, jumping out of private jets while Wyclef tried to assassinate him, looking on as his best friend danced with Jennifer Lopez’s ass. You didn’t want to punch him in the face (unless your name was Ghostface) and he still made somewhat street-ish songs like 24 Hours To Live.
Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before the Bad Boy curse struck and Mase dropped out of rap to preach and eventually got caught chasing trasnvestites and stealing money from his congregation. In an ideal world, Mase would have burnt the shiny suits, hopped off Bad Boy and returned to the underground to make that Children Of Da Corn album. He didn’t, though. Instead he made the confused and directionless Double Up. Oh, Well. A blogger can dream. Remember, without Mase, there’d be no Drake, Big Sean or Kanye West. Which probably sounds like a pretty good thing to a lot of people, but what can I say, I have a soft spot non-confrontational, approachable pop-rap.
Author: pretty real