Mase Clears The Air About Diddy, DMX And Jay-Z

People have some strong opinions about Mase's return to rap, but what does he have to say about his peers? The always-smiling MC clears up some misconceptions.

The One-Two Punch

P. Diddy and Mase have had a string of hits that rivals any twosome in rap. Now that Mase is back on Bad Boy, people are expecting more of the same, but they'll have to wait a little longer for remixes or Diddy's upcoming solo album. Although P.D. appears on just one track on Mase's Welcome Back, the bond uniting this dynamic duo is still strong.

"Puff always does great collaborations, it's just you need that flair to make it work. [When I first signed,] he was the guy with the money and I was the guy with the style. I needed the money; he needed my style. I took my style and I took his money and we worked pretty good together. Now, we gotta go and find some other hot artists to go along with Mase [on Bad Boy]. I don't [want to] be like Jordan on the Wizards: You gotta surround me with a team now."

From A Dog Collar To A Preacher's Collar ...

Mase is currently the only multiplatinum-rapper-turned-preacher, but he soon may be joined by DMX, who has barked about retiring from rap to pursue a career in the clergy. So what does Pastor Betha think?

"I actually would say when it comes to something like a person's spiritual walk, it's not really about what I think. That's the one thing you never judge, another man's spiritual walk. I wish more people knew that, because when you begin to talk about a person spiritually, you invite all types of bad things to happen to you. That's the worst thing you could do, because when you do that you're actually saying that you don't respect anything that's of substance. That's worse than wetting your hand [and] plugging a radio in the socket."

The Beef That Isn't

If you thought Jay-Z was venomous on "Takeover," go back in the files and listen to Jay's 1998 classic Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life. During a record called "Ride or Die," Hov let off a warning shot ("Shocked when I got the news that this ni--a ready for war/ Well, where that fool at?"), and then Jigga went for the jugular. Although he never named a name, everyone thought that lines like "Always gotta be the weakest ni--a out the crew/ I probably make more money off yo' album, than you ... Check your own videos, you'll always be number two," were aimed at hip-hop's number-one sidekick at the time, Mase.

Seeing that around the same time, Mase was on records making fun of rappers who talked about platinum jewelry but didn't have platinum plaques ("What we hear is platinum that, platinum this/ Platinum whips, nobody got no platinum hits"), people thought Jay, who didn't start selling superstar units until Hard Knock Life, was going at Betha.

"I don't know. Me and Jay never really had no problems like that. I know some things that was said could be taken certain ways, but we never had no problems ... at least not to my knowledge. I don't get into record beef. That's the wackest beef. That's not even a beef; that's entertainment. Might as well be a wrestler or something. I never had a problem with him 'cause I never seen him and he did anything to me, [and] I never had to do anything to him."

For a full-length feature on Mase, check out "Mase: The Fine Line Between Prayer And Playa."