Pretty Cool Commercial lp
Hip Hop Headz Won't Miss This One

M ost of us know Mase as the guy who is always rappin' with Puff Daddy.. He's the mush mouth kid who first made himself known with the song 'Nobody Can Hold Us Down' He was the guy mumblin' about how he was a thug who was gonna 'die high'.. I'll be honest..I always call this kid Mumbles..but I ain't mad at him..Nope I ain't mad at Mase for doing his thing..

Now as of late everyone has been on this 'Let's hate Puffy kick'.. A lot of us have taken potshots at him and have accused him of oversampling'.. True as that maybe.. Puff has been the man for the last year and a half.. And there's more then a few folks who enjoy his music... However, lots of hip hop headz have been severely critical.. and Mase because of his affiliation... has been cast in the same boat... Lots of folks have naturally assumed that Mase is nothing more then a commercial rapper..

After listening to his album, Harlem World.. I came to a few conclusions.. No Mase is not a commercial rapper although Harlem World has lots of commercial sounding songs... For example, there are tracks like 'Feels So Good' which borrows from Kool & The Gang's 'Hollywood Swingers'. 'Love You So' with singer Billy Lawrence is a yet another hip hop remake of Teena Marie's Square Biz... will somebody go out and ask Teena herself to sing on the remake of her song?.. I Need To Be w/ Monifah, What You Want w/ Total and Jealous Guys w/ 112 all have a real commercial feel to them.. At this point in the game.. it appears to be what a Mase fan would want and expect...familiar hooks and simple type raps...

Now in reviewing this album I have to answer the question, Did Mase achieve his goal of making a certain type of lp..? I think he did... He also shows a potential to be an artists who can hang with the headz of the world.. This is illustrated on songs like 'Take What's Yours' w/ DMX, 'Will They Die For You' w/ Puff and L'il Kim, 'Niggaz Wanna Act' w/ Busta Rhymes and the very west coast sounding 'The Player Way' w/ Eightball and MJG...I know all these songs might not be enough to convert a true head into a Mase fan... But rest assured his album will hold your attention.. At least the beats are good...

The main problems I have with Mase is that he appears to be shallow in terms of what he raps about.. If the topic isn't money and material wealth he's rappin' about himself and lettin' it be known that he's some sort of thug.. That unfortunately gets played out rather quickly... He also curses a lot... In fact too much... It takes away from him and the lp.. It also prevents us a djs from playing it on the radio.. I just feel that Mase could be a lot more clever with his words... So the bottom line here is if you want a safe commercial sounding lp with a bit of an edge.. Then the Harlem World is for you.. If you want some Rakim like lp...Don't come down here expecting that...

Reviewed By Davey D

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