Ma$e’s recent announcement that he is abandoning hip-hop to follow God casts a bittersweet poignancy over Double Up, the New York rapper’s second solo album. It’s anyone’s guess whether his unexpected career move will reveal him to be the next Kirk Franklin or merely Reverend Run redux, but his purported last will and testament as a secular rapper showcases the 22-year-old star at the peak of his powers while explicitly laying out his reasons for bailing from the game. In the grand tradition of his mentor, Puff Daddy, Ma$e cannily packs his tracks with can’t-miss samples (Gary Numan’s ”Cars,” Shalamar’s ”A Night to Remember”) for maximum ear appeal. But it’s his words, delivered with chilling, methodical clarity, that cut deepest. His disenchantment with hip-hop hypocrisy is a recurring theme, and his holy dissatisfaction is wholly convincing. On ”Blood Is Thicker Than All This,” he renounces ”the cars, the clothes, the money and these hos” in favor of family values; the song winds down with a lengthy roll call of archetypal fair-weather friends, culminating with Ma$e digustedly proclaiming, ”Man, I ain’t gonna be screamin’ all these niggas’ names — I’m outta here.” Go in peace, bro. B+
Posted June 18 1999 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Wayward Pines' exec producer Chad Hodge's post-show dish: Why (SPOILER) had to die
- Casting Net: Gabrielle Union heading to Jamie Foxx action film 'Sleepless Night'
- 'The View' eyeing two new cohosts?
- 'The Help' director Tate Taylor to helm 'Girl on the Train'
- Pete Davidson live tweets his 'Harry Potter' marathon, gives 'dope as f---' review
- Reese Witherspoon as Tinker Bell: Disney developing 'Peter Pan' spinoff 'Tink'
- Molest claim vs. Josh Duggar; family says...
- Cannes 2015: What's buzzing in film and fashion (so far)
- 'Survivor': Meet 20 alums you picked for a 'Second Chance'
- Ellie Kemper, more faces of the 2015 Webby Awards
- Summer Music Preview 2015: 10 hottest tours
- Melissa McCarthy: Did you know she was in...?
- Taylor Schilling, Jessica Alba, Beyoncé & More!