[pic - click to view]
"I've been in that contract for 16 years," he said, letting out that patented Ma$e giggle that fans came to love back in the late 1990s. "Yeah, the other day he let me out of it, so big shout-outs to Diddy, I guess he woke up feeling good and he wanted to do something good."
The Harlem rapper rode alongside Diddy on Puff's rap debut No Way Out in 1997 and in that same year dropped his first LP, the multiplatinum Harlem World. Two years later Ma$e released his sophomore LP Double Up, but right before the LP dropped, he announced his retirement from rap. The "Feels So Good" MC did return in 2004 with his Welcome Back LP, but his comeback was short-lived as his contractual obligation to Bad Boy prevented him from pursuing other deals, like the one presented to him by G-Unit CEO 50 Cent.
So now that he is officially a free agent, where will Ma$e sign? Well, maybe nowhere. "At this point, I don't really want to be under nobody from the aspect of being tied in a long, long contract," he said. "It's kinda like breaking up; you don't want to jump into a new relationship."
If Ma$e was to sign a deal however, Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music is a definite option. The two share a long history. In 1999, Ma$e gave West his first shot as a producer on The Movement, a group LP he put out with his Harlem World collective. This year on Kanye's Cruel Summer compilation 'Ye brought things full-circle and featured the man who he often credits as one of his favorite rapper on a track called "Higher" with the-Dream and Pusha T.
"One of his first beats was on the Harlem World album and I believe it was genuine on my part, so if he turned around and helped me, it would just be like karma," Ma$e explained.
Ma$e says that he is fond of Kanye's fearless in-studio nature and that is one of the things that attracts him to G.O.O.D. He also count's Yeezy's protégé Big Sean as one of his favorite rappers. "I'ma have to go somewhere. I would entertain that," Ma$e said about the G.O.O.D. deal, which seems to be a little more than a rumored possibility at this point. "I love Kanye, I love what he does musically, I love his ability to push the envelope. I like to be around people that's not afraid to be different."