Ma$e Opens Up About His ‘Weird Journey’ Through Retirement

'It taught me who I was, and that music didn't make me,' Ma$e tells 'RapFix Live' of his leaving hip-hop for the church.

Ma$e‘s decision to break from hip-hop in favor of a life in the church came as a surprise to fans, but the former Bad Boy rapper reveals that it was a natural progression that positively altered the course of his life and career.

On Wednesday’s “Big & Best of 2012″ edition of “RapFix Live,” Ma$e took a look at some old footage of himself explaining his decision to retire and admitted that he doesn’t regret it at all. “Some people, after years, they look back and say, ‘I wish I would not have done that,’ but even though I know the things its cost me, I can honestly say I’m glad I did it because it taught me so much — it taught me who I was and that music didn’t make me.”

As his star began to rise in the heyday of Bad Boy, Ma$e was still attending school at Clark Atlanta University, where his relationship with religion grew organically. “It would be like Drake dropping music today and going to college,” he said. “I’m in religious class, I’m in math class and people are looking like, ‘Is Ma$e in my class?’ When I would leave the class people would just be drawn to me, asking me life questions, so that forced me to start reading the Bible.”

“I would try to talk to girls and they would ask me about the Bible, so my player lifestyle was just shut down,” he added, laughing. “It put me in this place where I had to read the bible and learn it because every time I came to school somebody was asking me questions.”

To make it extra odd, other rappers like Nas would pass through the campus to perform and question the Harlem MC about his decision to juggle both things. “It was a total weird journey but it was worth it,” he said.

Ma$e still remains active in the church as a pastor, and for fans who still can’t seem to comprehend how his music meshes with that lifestyle, he puts it this way: “It’s interesting, because the people I pastor aren’t people with big hats, long dresses and thick Bibles,” he said. “They’re people like Jeezy, people like T.I. They’re not the normal people that go to church.”

“I think that’s what confuses people about me, cause they’re [thinking about] the kinda church they’re used to, not the kinda church that’s missing. There’s a group of people that can’t go to that kinda church because they can’t relate, but then if they see somebody like me they think, ‘I could relate to him. The things he’s talking about makes sense to me.’

A native of Grenada, a product of Brooklyn, a student of hip-hop.
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