Ma$e reveals the rappers on his hip-hop Mount Rushmore: His four favourite rappers
(Credit: Press)

Old School Archives

Ma$e reveals the rappers on his hip-hop Mount Rushmore: His four favourite rappers

Harlem emcee Ma$e had a short but impactful tenure as an emcee from New York. The Manhattan artist first emerged alongside Cam’Ron and Big L as part of the crew Children of the Corn, and shortly before the death of his mentor Big L in 1999, he became Diddy’s protégé as a member of Bad Boy.

Although the musician (real name Mason Betha) topped the charts with his 1997 debut album Harlem World, his split from Cam’Ron was costly. Cam’Ron became part of the legendary collective The Diplomats alongside Jim Jones, Frekey Zekey and Juelz Santana. Furthermore, Betha ultimately fell out with Diddy.

All of his missteps led to the lyricist becoming musically homeless. After a long period of introspection, he realised music wasn’t for him and eventually became a pastor. At the turn of the millennium, Ma$e began taking an interest in Christianity and, in 1999, became a pastor in Atlanta.

His outspoken stance on hip-hop confused his former friends and created a vast chasm between him and Cam’Ron, who achieved an unfathomable amount of commercial success. In an interview with Funkmaster Flex, speaking about his lyrics, the Harlem artist said that he had been leading people, friends, kids and others down a path to hell.”

The previously mentioned and more led to a decline in his relevancy. However, in recent years, he has managed to patch things up with Cam’Ron (real name Cameron Giles), and the pair have restored their friendship. As friends, they have founded a podcast and become prominent commentators on sports and music. 

That said, Ma$e has returned to hip-hop and has spoken to several outlets in recent years about his rekindled relationship with Cam’Ron and his thoughts on the current state of the culture. 

In a recent interview with sports commentator Chris ‘See Hendo’ Henderson about basketball and music, Ma$e was asked about his Mount Rushmore picks for the NBA and hip-hop. 

When asked about how he initially got into basketball, Betha stated, “I played basketball since I was about eight years old. Me Shamm[god], Cam, from the city we all played, grew up together playing AU everywhere across the country!” When asked to pick his Mount Rushmore, Ma$e responded, “Michael Jordan, Magic [Johnson], Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron [James]!”

 Betha was then asked about his Mount Rushmore of rappers. After a brief ponder, the Harlem native replied, “The Mount Rushnore for Ma$e in rap, Biggie, Nas, and we just talking lyrics, I got Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, and if I had a fifth one, I would put Jadakiss.”

Ma$e’s four favourite rappers:

  • Biggie Smalls
  • Nas
  • Jay-Z
  • Lil Wayne