How Biggie Smalls helped Mase when he was broke
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How Biggie Smalls helped Mase when he was broke

Bad Boy Entertainment mogul P Diddy has had many protégés over the years. The businessman’s most successful artist during the 1990s was undoubtedly Biggie Smalls, who made him millions of dollars with his albums Ready To Die and Life After Death. However, the executive (real name Sean Combs) also produced some less successful protégés, one of those being Mase. 

Born and raised in Harlem, Mase (often referred to as Murda Mase) was a member of the iconic Children Of The Corn crew alongside Cam’Ron and Big L before he was picked up by Combs in 1995. As a part of Bad Boy, Diddy vast amounts of money into Mase, as the young star who was going to take over from Biggie. However, Biggies’ star power ceased to wane, and Mase (real name Mason Betha) didn’t sell the number of records Diddy had expected.

Prior to Mase’s 1997 debut album, in the interim between 1995 and 1997, Mase was financially struggling as he had no music to sell and was yet to receive an advance from Combs. In an interview with VLADTV, Lance ‘Un’ Rivera unveiled that during this period Biggie helped Betha financially.

According to Rivera, Biggie (real name Christopher Wallace), out of his own pocket, began paying the young Harlem emcee to write music for Lil Cease of Junior M.A.F.I.A. due to his knowledge of the unfavourable deal he had with Diddy at Bad Bad Boy Records. Rivera explained, “Puff signed Mase so can ya imagine what kind of contract Mase got? Because B.I.G. just came off that same contract.”

He continued, “The LOX all of them came off the same contracts. So when B.I.G. was rapping with Ma$e on the 112 [‘Only You’] remix, Ma$e was broke.” Recalling how Biggie helped Mase, Rivera recounted, “So B.I.G. says, ‘Un, give Ma$e a check, and he’s gonna write for Cease.’ Ma$e comes back with a record called ‘Crush On You’ for Lil Cease’s album…I think we paid him $7,500 a record, and he made six records. He comes back with ‘Crush On You’, and there’s three verses with Lil Cease on there.”

Rivera detailed how, ultimately, for two years, Mase was a ghostwriter at Bad Boy, getting paid by Biggie Smalls until he passed away in 1997. You can watch Lance ‘Un’ Rivera’s interview in the video below.