October 28, 2021

Mase "Harlem World" (October 28, 1997)

He rhymed on gold and platinum singles by Puff Daddy, the Notorious B.I.G., Mariah Carey, and 112 and appeared in the related videoclips. He performed in front of an audience of millions at the MTV Video Music Awards alongside Sting, the Lox, Faith Evans, Puff Daddy, and members of his own Bad Boy family. As a result of such exposure, Mase's lispy, laid-back voice and round, boyish face have become very familiar staples to core hip-hop and mainstream pop fans alike. The exposure has created strong demand for the MC's solo debut, "Harlem World," which is due worldwide on Bad Boy/Arista. Mase says his lyrics are a chronicle of his inner thoughts and emotions. "It's like in all my songs and on my whole album I'm telling you how I feel," he says. "When I say things like, 'Mase ain't the one that'll pay your phone bill' or 'Can't no playa hatin' n!ggas hold me down,' that's really how I feel. I don't just be writin' lyrics cause they sound good." Songs on "Harlem World" include "I Need To Be," which recognizes a woman's needs in a relationship; "N!ggas Wanna Act," which challenges all the folks who charged Mase with changing after blowing up; and "Feels So Good," an ego-booster that rides a spongy sample of Kool & The Gang's "Hollywood Swinging." "The album's phenomenal. I think it's a great record. It has that Puffy pop sound, but Mase's lyrics are tight. He's really saying something; he has some depth," says Violent Brown... - Billboard (Nov, 1997). In all honesty, you'd have to be lying to yourself to say this album wasn't everywhere at the time, and it definitely had several bangers - even if it was hip-pop at the time. I still think Mase was a talented MC, and everything that came after was just par for the course over at Bad Boy Entertainment. The article continues with several references to marketing and promotion for the album, which I'd have to assume was already available by the time the article went to print. Revisit the album below...

The full article in Billboard Magazine (November 7, 1997)