During an interview with DJ Self of New York's Power 105.1 radio station (WWPR-FM) on Friday (June 26), former Bad Boy artist Mase not only aired a remix to Drake's "Best I Ever Had," his first release in five years, but he also said Michael Jackson's death is what inspired his return to music after an extended hiatus.
"Mike passed away and it just lit the fire in me -- it made me go in the studio and do something. I'm excited," the Harlem-born rapper said. "I asked my nephew who is the hottest thing out there and he said "Drake!' When I listened to his music I said, 'I'm going to jump on this joint.'"
When asked if his fans should consider this his official comeback, Mase hinted, "I've got things up my sleeves, I just need someone to play them." He also went on to shout-out former label boss Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, and friends-turned-nemeses-turned-friends-again, rappers Jim Jones and Cam'ron. The acknowledgment led to an on-air phone call from Jones himself, during which he apologized to Mase "for anything I ever did when I was younger. I tip my hat to you. This is monumental and it's nothing but love."
Shortly before releasing his sophomore album, 1999's "Double Up," which sold 425,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan, Mase announced his retiring from music during an interview with New York's Hot 97 (WQHT) DJ Funk Master Flex, stating his plans to "follow God". However, in 2004, he made a brief return with a new album appropriately titled "Welcome Back," released on Bad Boy. That album moved 559,000.
In 2005, Mase had a short-lived stint with 50 Cent's G-Unit click, but nothing materialized from that affiliation.
To date, Mase's biggest-selling album remains his debut, "Harlem World," with 3.3 million units sold.