January 6, 2014

MTV's "TRL" - 2004 Video Music Awards EditionATTENTION 90s-rap and R&B fans who have also been living under a rock: on December 26th, Mase (Ma$e) dropped “Why Can’t We,” featuring Her, his first solo release in a decade! Until this news came about, I did not know that a third (yes, third) Ma$e comeback was a real thing. Apparently it was two months ago that Mase first spoke of his new album’s release, and “Why Can’t We” is the first tangible release since then.

Personally, I think it’s worth buying. If this song is any indication, his new album is going to have similar qualities to his older releases, but also sound modern at the same time. Heavily treated vocals from Her add a new element to Mase’s unavoidably retro sound.

When you first hear Mase’s truly nice voice come in on the rap verse in “Why Can’t We”…*sigh* it just brings me back to the good ole’ days of listening to Mase and Puff Daddy on the radio. Nostalgia is fun. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s impossible for anyone who grew up in the 90s to dislike Mase’s contributions to music. His fly-guy style has always been refreshing, and he’s actually pulling off the whole “rapper-turned-pastor” thing!

It’s songs like that that make me grateful that Mase loves to make comebacks. After releasing his sophomore album, Double Up in 1999, Mase announced that he was retiring from music to pursue “a calling from God” (he is now a pastor who leads an international ministry). Five years later, in 2004, he made the comeback album Welcome Back and was featured on songs with Nelly and Fat Joe. Then, after the death of Michael Jackson, Mase was inspired to return to the music scene (once again) for a comeback. He used the genius formula that worked for him in the 90s: appearing as the featured rapper on popular R&B remixes. This time, he collaborated with artists such as Trey Songz and Drake.

During his third comeback, Mase has said that after 16 years of being on P. Diddy’s label, that he was no longer signed to Bad Boy. Mase also included that he probably wouldn’t sign with a major record label anytime soon. However, he has reportedly told MTV News of the two artist’s labels that he would sign to: Drake’s OVO Sound and Kanye West’s GOOD Music.

Back in October Mase attended and performed at Drake’s Ovo Fest, where Drake was quoted by MTV News as saying “Funny enough, me and Ma$e have just been talking about what the future holds, about what he wants to do,” Drake said. “And anything is possible man. I told Ma$e, ‘You’re Ma$e, at the end of the day so I don’t think you should end up on anybody else’s label.”

So can we really call it a comeback? Maybe not. Maybe he never really left. Whatever it is, we’re happy to see more 90s artists finding a second (or third) wind.

And now, we patiently wait for that album to drop. #NowWeEven

Which artist are you most excited to see Mase work with?

– Jenni Moore (@JenniferKayMo, @weknowthedj)

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