Picks and Pans Review: Sounds Off
In 1999, at the height of his popularity, Mase announced that he was hanging up his mike and becoming a minister (he opened his own church in Atlanta). Five years later the rapper, 29, has returned to recording with his third album, Welcome Back.
ON LEAVING THE MUSIC BUSINESS It was simply to become a better person. I didn't like my attitude; I didn't like the person that I was becoming. [He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in 1998.] I made a change, and that change ended up working for me.
ON BEING BACK ON THE HIP-HOP SCENE I'm living the life without the madness. I'm still the flyest thing out there, I've still got the best jewelry out there. But it's very important that I keep that Bible around.
ON HIS FORMER MENTOR P. DIDDY I'm forever grateful to Puffy. He gave me the opportunity to move my family out of the ghetto. I'll always have that respect for him. We still have kind of a teacher-student [relationship].
ON HIS FAVORITE RAPPERS
Nelly is extraordinary—his flows, his melodies. I like Chingy's style and his sound. I like Kanye West's boldness. And I love 50 Cent's drive. And Jay-Z, you can only respect where he's taken rap.
ON HIS HIGHER RAP CALLING My job is not done because I sell 10 million records. If I haven't touched anybody, my job is not done.