Pastor Mason Betha Returning to Rap
Mason Betha, a multi-platinum selling rapper from the late 1990s who retired from the industry 13 years ago to become a pastor, is returning to the hip-hop scene once again.
In a new remix to rapper Wale's song, "Slight Work," Betha uses a plethora of religious themes as metaphors in his rhyme.
"..Getting money like I'm jewish/...got a cult following of bad broads like i'm Buddhist," Betha rapped. " ..Think your (crew is staying foolish) if your crew don't have a Judas/ Get you wetter than a venue... howling like a Hindu."
Hip-hop fans took to Twitter to offer mixed reactions to Betha's comeback, after the rapper-turned-pastor initially retired in 1999.
"I can't take Mase serious on this "Slight Work" remix," one person tweeted. "Dude was just a preacher or something."
However, some enjoyed Mase's apparent return to Hip Hop.
"Mase's verse on slight work remix gives me chills," a fan tweeted. "Yes Pastor Betha!"
In a TBN interview in 2005 after Betha, 34, first tried to re-emerge from his initial retirement back into a rap career, he spoke about the people who worried about a return to Hip-Hop pulling the pastor away from his Christian calling.
"Why is it Christians are more confident in the Devil taking me more than Christ keeping me," Betha questions. "What I have inside of me is more powerful than anything the world could ever offer me."
Betha asked Hip-Hop radio DJ Funkmaster Flex for help with a comeback in a radio interview last month where he spoke about his initial choice to leave the rap industry alone to honor God as a preacher.
"I thought I could do more than rap and I just so happen to be right. I see different artists making clothing lines and people respected it," Betha said in the interview last month. "Rap has always been about using your talents for doing more. I'm just the one that got criticized for doing more than was unexpected. I think I overachieved."
Still, Betha, pastor and founder of El Elyon International Church and Mason Betha Ministries, said he regretted transition from a rapper to pastor.
"I didn't give myself any room to grow, I went from one extreme to another extreme," Betha said about his initial choice to retire from rapping and become a full time pastor. "I was just so gung ho about what I was learning, that's all I wanted."
Although Betha admitted that people had the right to judge his decisions, he said they should move on since so much time has passed.
"I went so hard in one direction that people had things to say and rightfully so," Betha told Flex. "I don't blame them for that (but) it's been 13 years, let's move on."
Although, the pastor said he would pick God over music if given the choice again, he asked for prayers while entering back into the rap world with no restrictions.
"I'm taking all the limitations off, they're gonna have to pray for me," Betha told the Hot 97 radio personality."If I had to pick the two I'd still pick God over music any day."