- (Photograph: Facebook/El Elyon International Church)
Mason Betha, a multi-platinum selling rapper from the late 90s who retired from the music industry to become a pastor, recently revealed that he has considered signing with Kanye West after music mogul Sean Combs released him from Bad Boy Records.
Although Betha first stopped rapping 13 years ago to become a pastor, he recently told MTV's "Rap Fix Live" that Bad Boy record label CEO Sean "Diddy" Combs only recently released him from the label.
"I've been in that contract for 16 years," Betha revealed in the interview on MTV. "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."
Despite his freedom to make music with any record label of his choosing, Betha said he is not in a rush to jump into any other contract just yet.
"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."
However, the head pastor of El Elyon International Church in Atlanta, Ga., and Phoenix, Ariz., admitted that he would consider working with rapper Kanye West's G.O.O.D Music record label.
"I'm a have to go somewhere. I would entertain that," Betha told "Rap Fix" about the possibility of a deal with G.O.O.D. Music. "I love Kanye, I love what he does musically, I love his ability to push the envelope. I like to be around people that's not afraid to be different."
Since Betha helped West get his start in music, the pastor said the head of G.O.O.D Music can return the favor.
"One of his first beats was on the Harlem World album and I believe it was genuine on my part, so if he turned around and helped me, it would just be like karma," Betha told the MTV show.
Fans have heard Betha and West collaborate on a number of records, including a 2004 collaboration of "Jesus Walks Remix". After that collaboration, West opened up to MTV about working with his favorite rapper.
"You know that's my favorite rapper, and when he hit that, 'Jesus, Jesus walks with me'
- aw, come on, man!" West told MTV in 2004.
Betha seemed to hint at getting an offer from West's label when he took to Twitter last June.
"Wow... I just got a G.O.O.D. offer!!!," Betha tweeted from his @saintmason Twitter handle.
While the deal has yet to come to fruition, Betha was featured on the G.O.O.D Music compilation album released last fall in a song called "Higher."
"...I'm like a drug overlord my jewelry (is) overboard/ It's hard to believe (Ma)$e even knows the Lord/ Already wrote it off so just ignore the costs/ So when I'm rolling off I'm showing off with no remorse," the pastor rhymed.
Although some fans seemed happy to hear the collaboration others, questioned if his lyrics were appropriate for a pastor.
"Um, is Mase REALLY on this track? Imma [sic] need him to get it together," one person tweeted amid the release of the song last fall. "Is he a preacher or not?!"
One Christian Post reader commented on an an article written about the release of "Higher."
"Does sound like Ma$e is confused,"the person commented. "Is he on God's team or did God join his team?"