Born: August 27, 1975
Birthplace: Jacksonville, FL
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Mason Durell Betha aka Mase (formerly Murda Mase and stylized as Ma$e), is an American rapper, songwriter and minister. He is known for his late 1990s run at Bad Boy Records alongside Sean "Diddy" Combs. From 1996 to 1999, as a lead or featured artist, Mase had six Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 singles and five US Rap No. 1 singles. His 1997 album Harlem World was Grammy nominated and certified quadruple Platinum by RIAA. His two other albums, Double Up and Welcome Back, are both certified Double platinum and Gold by RIAA.
Mase was born Mason Durell Betha in Jacksonville, Florida, on August 27, 1975, as a fraternal twin born almost two months premature, to P. K. Betha and Mason Betha. He grew up with two brothers and three sisters, including his twin sister, Stason, born a few minutes after him. The father left the family when Mase was just three years old. In 1982 his mother moved herself and her children to Harlem, New York, where Mase spent the majority of his childhood. During his early teenage years, Betha began getting into trouble on the streets of Harlem, and when he was 13 his mother sent him back to Jacksonville to live with relatives. While living in Jacksonville, Betha first began attending church. After returning to live in Harlem at age 15, Betha began showing promise as a basketball player, becoming the leading point guard for his team at Manhattan Center high school during the 1993 season, where he played alongside Cameron Giles, who went on to be the rapper known as Cam'ron. He had hopes of joining the National Basketball Association (NBA), but was unable to make it into a Division I College due to his poor academic scores. He attended State University of New York at Purchase on a basketball scholarship, where he grew to realize he was unlikely to make the NBA and instead began focusing more on writing music, producing demo tapes and regularly performing at local nightclubs. Betha eventually dropped out of college and focused on his music career full time.