Rapper turned Pastor Mason Durrell Betha, better known as Ma$e, recently talked about his release from a 16-year contract with Bad Boy Records and rise to fame on “RapFix Live,” exposing the truth behind Diddy’s success as a solo artist.
According to Ma$e, Diddy’s platinum debut album, No Way Out was originally his [Ma$e] demo.
“He wanted to do the records that I wrote and he just started rappin on em,” said Ma$e.
Before Diddy released his first solo album in 1997, he was better known for producing acts Biggie, Craig Mack, Total, and many artists. The album went number 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 561,000 copies in its first week. At the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998, the album went up for five grammy nominations and won the grammy for best rap album.
“Everything I had for myself that was like my demo, that became his album,” said Ma$e. “Then I was thinking, well, ‘how can I do it again?’ He worked with me to become the artist that I became, doing Harlem World, so it was just a collective effort.” The album has gone four times platinum in the U.S.
Ma$e’s first solo album, Harlem World, debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Pop and R&B charts came with a price. Diddy successfully transfered from producer to rapper with the single, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” which is the same song that took the Murda out of Murda Ma$e.
Before Ma$e dropped his solo album, he had to change his identity. Diddy took the Murda out of Murda Ma$e because he claimed he had enough hardcore rappers on his roster. With major acts like Biggie and The Lox, the music executive Diddy had other plans for Harlem resident.
“Before I got signed to Bad Boy, I grew up listening to Snoop and Tupac and my hood was all Tupac driven,” said Ma$e.
The video that accompanied the hit song, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” was completely Diddy’s idea. He focused at showing Ma$e as an MC looking fly, rocking Rolexes rather than a hadcore thug draped in hoodies.
In late 1997, Ma$e had became Bad Boy’s top artist after the death of Biggie.
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