After demanding an apology from J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar on Twitter recently, Kanye West was met with an apology demand from one of his own rap heroes over the weekend — one he respects as fair play, considering how he was early in his career. In classic Kanye fashion, he did not, however, apologize.
Over the weekend, pastor and former Bad Boy rapper Mason Betha — aka Ma$e of Harlem World — called out Kanye’s recent rant about his contract situation with Universal. While Kanye used his Twitter tirade to frame himself as a Jon Snow making a valiant stand against the giants of the industry, Mase reminded him he’s more of a Don Quixote, tilting at windmills — and he’s hardly the first.
“Much of what you are feeling has been expressed before,” Mase wrote on Instagram. “But when I was saying it, the same system and mindset that you are fighting against today, used you to shame me for leaving the very same system!” Of course, Mase is referring here to Kanye’s line on 2010’s “Devil In a New Dress” referring to Mase’s decision to walk away from music to pursue ministry:
“Don’t leave while you’re hot, that’s how Mase screwed up.”
Now Mase says Kanye owes him a public apology, writing: “I know today you may see it very differently so… You owe me (and my family) a public apology and then some, if anyone owes you one.” For his part, Kanye acknowledges “Ma$e is right about that line,” admitting on Twitter “l always felt funny about that line … Ma$e is one of my favorite rappers and I based a lot of my flows off of him.”
However, Mase probably shouldn’t hold his breath waiting for that apology. Instead, Kanye gave another of his signature excuses and simply accepted that maybe he has some lyrical karma coming his way. “I’m the king of ‘ooh can I get away with this bars’ so I reap what I sow when the next generation does the same to me.”
Ma$e is right about that line … I always felt funny about that line … Ma$e is one of my favorite rappers and I based a lot of my flows off of him … I’m the king of “ooh can I get away with this bars” so I reap what I sow when the next generation does the same to me.
— ye (@kanyewest) September 21, 2020
Ironically, Kanye has been the target of similar criticism since his own (questionable) turn to religion in 2018, making headlines for alleging that contracts wouldn’t allow him to talk about Jesus (despite winning a Grammy for a song called “Jesus Walks” in which he says “They say you can talk about anything except for Jesus”), pushing his collaborators and employees to refrain from premarital sex, and spending $50 million on his Sunday Service concerts. And while Mase called out Sean Combs for the terms of his contract, Kanye may have more parallels to Puff than to any of the artists who claim Diddy stiffed them on their royalty checks.
So don’t be surprised if Big Sean or Kid Cudi or Travis Scott comes out swinging in 2030. According to Kanye, what goes around, comes around.