Though in the past he's been linked to G-Unit and, most recently, G.O.O.D. Music, Ma$e says it wasn't until this week that he was finally freed of his original late '90s recording agreement with Diddy and Bad Boy Records. In an interview on MTV's RapFix Live, Ma$e opened up about his bumpy history with the label and finally being a free man.
"I've been in that contract for 16 years," he said. "Yeah, the other day he let me out of it, so big shout-outs to Diddy, I guess he woke up feeling good and he wanted to do something good."
Ma$e famously retired and went into ministry after the release of his second album, Double Up, in 1999. He came out of retirement in 2004 with a more wholesome third album for Bad Boy, Welcome Back. But shortly after that project's release, Ma$e sought to relaunch his career with 50 Cent's street-hardened G-Unit crew. He says Diddy was to blame for the failure of those plans to solidify.
"You know why it didn't go through. Diddy didn't let it go through," he told Sway. "He wanted 50 to give him all of the money he thought I owed him."
Though they've had their ups and downs, Ma$e was clear that he still has love for Diddy, whom he credited for having a great mind for business.
"He's an excellent businessman. If I was going to war, I'd wanna go to war with Puff. Because I know he doesn't back down," he said.
As for his relationship with Kanye West, who reportedly sought him out for a spot on G.O.O.D. Music and included him on the label's recent compilation album, Cruel Summer, Ma$e said he wants to be careful about getting into another long-term commitment.
"At this point, I don't really want to be under nobody from the aspect of being tied in a long, long contract," he said. "It's kinda like breaking up; you don't want to jump into a new relationship... I would love to do music with him, but I don't have time to really be under somebody's foot. I can't do that."
Interestingly, besides Kanye, Ma$e said the only other person he's considering working with as a free agent is Drake.
"He's the closest to what I feel I would have been if I never left music," Ma$e said. "I like his ability to express himself."
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(Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images)