November 7 [10:00 EDT] -- All those who thought that Mase was just Puff Daddy's sidekick are in for a jolt when the rapper's album debuts at number one next week on the "Billboard" album chart.
Mase's "Harlem World" ["Feel So Good", 1MB QuickTime] leapt past chart heavies like Mariah Carey, LeAnn Rimes, and Fleetwood Mac to grab the number one spot in its first week on the chart.
While the rapper is grateful for his experience with Puffy, he also knows that making a name for himself is important to his continued success.
"Well, basically what I'm trying to establish is a strong identity and foundation for Mase so a lot of people could know that Mase is his own person and Mase can do other things besides rap and music and things in that nature," Mase told MTV News as he prepared to hit the road with Puffy's "No Way Out" tour.
"When we put the album together, we knew there would be a lot of expectations. We're
feeling so good coming out. The only thing in my mind was to make a good showing. I figured the way Bad Boy was rolling they could put out anything and it would sell. So I wasn't worrying about sales, I was worried about identity." [500k QuickTime]
Mase will join Puffy, Lil' Kim, Usher, Busta Rhymes, the Family and many others when the "No Way Out" tour gets rolling Friday in Albany, New York. To check out the tour itinerary, see "Puffy Unveils 'Roxanne' As 'No Way Out' Tour Kicks Off."