urban life & style

What's Up With Ma$e?

If, like me, you were surprised to see Pastor Mason Betha, aka Murda Mase, rapping with 50 Cent, you might be wondering what's going on. Mase's conversion to Christianity in 1999 is well documented, not least in his autobiography. So has Ma$e exchanged Creflo Dollar for half a dollar? Or is this his attempt to bring God to a wider audience?

Many people are confused by the mixed messages being given out by Mase now he has decided to return to rap, especially after saying that he wanted set up a ministry to "undo the damage" he had done while in the world as a secular artist. Surprisingly, it's not Bad Boy, but G-Unit which Murda Ma$e signed to, after falling out with former boss P Diddy. G-Unit's 50 Cent claims credit for the return of Murda Ma$e, but says that it's all good. "Me and Mase sat down and had conversations. I told him, 'When you were writing Murda Ma$e material you sold 4 million records. If you can sacrifice for a moment, having people being confused with what your intentions are and have them think that maybe 50 is so evil you went from God to the G-Unit, that he got you thinking like that, it'll all be for a greater win when you generate that interest of millions of people to deliver a record that has a positive message. What you gonna hear when you hear Mase's new record is the production caliber of a Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre with a more positive message. It's such a dramatic change, like 'Wow, you got a minister talking aggressive.' If you can get the kid that's listening to that aggressive music to hear and understand your positive message, he actually did something."

Despite what Fiddy says, many will feel that Mase's new lyrics leave a lot to be desired. In 300 Shots, Mase raps:

You know you messin' with a n*gga that do this for a livin'  Put two in the street while there's two in the kitchen.  Put guns in n*ggaz mouth like 'Who's u dissin'?'  Be a year 'fore they knew who u was missin', n*gga.  You can either have a gun at the chain, or one at the brain,  I have hoes back of the church, hummin' ya name.  Even then I feel it's like cheat my men,  Watch God leave the sky to come and greet my men.  I pop n*ggaz in the chest, they never breathe again.

On January 12, 2007, Mase made an unannounced appearance at Holy Hip Hop Week in Atlanta and apologized to the holy hip hop community for his previous statements denouncing Christian hip hop ministry and expressing his deepest respect and support for the movement in acknowledging that holy hip hop music can be used as a tool to win back the lost, saying that he trusts "God will use him to evangelise in arenas where there are 60,000 souls present at a time". Mase then asked that the holy hip hop community "pray for him", at which point he received deafening applause from the audience.

Like Kanye West and P Diddy before him, Mase has taken to dressing up as Jesus. He is depicted on the cover of the DJ Whoo Kid mixtape 'Crucified 4 The Hood' posing as Jesus, complete with gashes and a crown of thorns. On the rear is a picture of Mase’s back with the names of rappers he’s got beef with written in red ink, reminiscent of the gashes on Jesus’ back.

On '10 Years of Hate', Mase raps "The Church ain't big enough to buy what I'm buyin', And Diddy ain't give enough to fly what I'm flyin'".

I feel the dude is confused. If you're not really a killer but you running with a bunch of dudes that say they're killers, I guess you're gonna talk like you a killer too, even if it's not believable. I think Mase got caught up in trying to act like the people he's around. 50 Cent and them is known for taking jabs and saying wild, reckless stuff. I guess he felt he had to jump in those shoes too. — Fabolous speaking on MTV

In his book Revelations: There's a Light After The Lime, Mase says: "I believe that God can do anything. If I didn't believe it I would have gone back. There were many days I struggled. There were many days I could have gone back. But I said, "No, Satan! Before I give up my testimony, I'm going to add more to it!" With me holding on, it's just going to make more people come to the kingdom. I told him, 'You better find someone else to play with!' If the devil can ruin you, he can ruin someone else's faith too. But if you hold on, somebody else will have an opportunity to come to the kingdom... and the devil loses. That's the chance Satan takes messing with a faithful saint. If he can make a faithful saint fall, a bunch of people fall, too. But if the saint can hold on and be victorious, a bunch of people will come to the Lord. That's how it works. And once I understood that fight — that we're in a war for souls — I couldn't even think about looking back to what I had, to what I was. Being a prophet is not much different than being a rapper. They're just serving a different master. In rap, you serve the devil and the money, and things are your god."

Mase found God at the precise moment the rap game started catching bodies, stepping back to the mic when the (East versus West) coast was clear. — The Village Voice

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Archived Comments

  • We should never judge anyone. All we can do is pray. I myself don't understand what's going on with all this. I do know that Pastor Betha brings the Word in his sermons. I also know that he has a gift. — Chris

  • Pastor Mason Betha came and spoke to my church a few years ago. The church was packed. A lot of people gave their life to Christ that day. He had a great message and talked about how he would never return to the life that he lived. When he released "Welcome Back", I was a little concerned. I listened to it, though, and it had some good messages. Now, Mase is in G-Unit videos wearing G-Unit platinum chains and fur coats. He's rapping in songs and releasing an album. Plus, he calls himself "Murda Mase." What's good with that? He talked about how he was going to undo the damage that he caused, but right now, I think that he may be causing more damage. The young saints that he helped save are probably really confused and they are probably going back to their old ways. I feel like he just wants to make money. If he has a message and is going to be different like he says, then he should stop the cussing and the violent language. Nothing against G-Unit, but it's going to be hard for people to listen to Mase's message when he's rapping with them and calling himself Murda Mase. I hope that some good comes out of this because right now, I only see confusion. — Dominique

  • I pray that Mase has not been lured back into the world of sin, and that he will allow the Lord to continue to use him for His own glory. I know that it is very difficult to be IN the world and not OF the world. It is a daily battle of the flesh and the spirit, so I hope that Mase has grown enough spiritually to stay strong and resist the devil. Nonetheless, at times we put ourselves in harm's way and walk right into the devil’s traps. I pray that Mase’s return to rap isn’t a trick of the devil. If it isn’t then I can’t wait to see God use Mase to get everyone in G-Unit saved and producing tight tracks with positive, uplifting lyrics. If it is then I know that God can turn any situation around for his good. Regardless of the situation we need to pray for Mase and let God handle the rest. He has the ultimate plan and will always win in the end. Keep Mase in your prayers and watch God work it out. — Kameese

  • I just pray that Mase doesn't fall victim as Sampson did, though he was strong he was still controlled and manipulated by a deceptive spirit, which was sparked and given access into his life by lingering fleshly desires from his past. Mase, all I can say is keep waking up early to seek His face. — Minister Jeff Dilliard

  • I just hope he has everything right with God. There are some things you can't play with and the Lord's one of them. I am confused by his lyrics and I wonder what his church members think of his union with G-Unit. We just have to keep him lifted up in prayer. — Kisha

  • I myself know what's it's like to be saved and fall back into the world, but I believe that God's punishment is more severe with a person who has made an oath with the Father to never go back to the world and its desires. It's better to have never taken the oath than to break it with Him. My prayers are with Pastor Mase Betha and those whom he has lead to Christ. — Marlon

  • I for one ain't backing Mase. I know how it is to fall though, but I ain't no pastor... just any guy. Mase was a role model for thousands if not millions of people and he let me down. I myself have fallen and it ain't easy at all to go back coz u just keep on getting deeper in sin. — Ayo

  • I feel as though Mase is making more of a miss than when he was first in the world. I was encouraged when I heard he was leaving the rap game for Christ. But then he goes back to it? Plus on top of that he signs with G-Unit? What in the world! He could have signed with a Christian label and come out really representing for Christ. I feel sorry for all the youth who look/looked up to him. I'll be praying for him. — LeLe

  • Can anybody get in contact with Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers and get him to talk some sense into this guy’s heart. I heard from Dr Dollar’s mouth in London that he advised Mase to go back into rapping... man this is "going back" a bit too far!!! — Martin

  • I don't know what Mason is thinking... honestly I was happy that he came back into the rap game but I thought he was going to do something positive with it. All of a sudden he signs with G-Unit, and his rapping is as foul as it ever was. — Jason

  • How can we call this man a pastor when one word is about Jesus, then the next word in his rap is n*gga. Come on, let's open our eyes. This is a joke. — Matthew

  • At the end of the day, Mase is a grown man, he can do what he wants, it will not interfere with my own sprituality. I just hope he can at the very least make an effort to create some good music. — Will

  • I myself don't believe we need to be making negative comments about Pastor Mason "Mase" Betha, period! Regardless of what we hear, he is still a man of God! We need to cover Mase with our prayers, not curse him with our words of negativity. We have not the slightest idea as to what God is up to. So instead of looking at the natural we should look in the spiritual. 1Sam16:7 "...for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." When I heard Mase got saved and was pastoring, I was excited! And when I heard he returned to rap, I was excited even the more because our giftings are not just for the "church" but the world. God's gift (Jesus) was not for a certain people but for the world! John3:16-17 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him (Jesus; God's gift) might be saved." Just as God used His gift (Jesus) to save the world, we are to use our giftings — in the right perspective, untainted, & non-perverted — to bring the world to our Savior, Jesus. I believe that God has raised up Pastor Mason Betha for such a time as this, blessed him (empowered him to do) and sent him strategically into the world-using his gift — to bring the world to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let's pray for Mase, not prey on him. — T Rhodes