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