Hustle Mindset

Ma$e Says Jermaine Dupri Paid Him His First $1M — ‘You Were The First Guy To Ever Pay Me What I Was Really Worth’


When you reach success in life, it’s important to recognize and appreciate the individuals who have supported and influenced your journey. This was the case for famed rapper Ma$e, who took time to give award-winning producer Jermaine Dupri his flowers.

Ma$e had been impacted by Dupri early on. As a member of Hip Hop group Harlem World, he and the group signed a production deal with Dupri’s label So So Def Records in 1998, according to MTV. Through a partnership with Dupri, Ma$e would then launch his own label to release the group’s music, reports Vice.

What’s more, the deal proved to be instrumental for Ma$e, who was also a Bad Boy Records artist, as it allowed him to reach financial success.

“I want to tell you thank you from my heart. You were the first guy to ever pay me what I was really worth talent wise, and that just goes a long long way,” Ma$e said on the “Come And Talk 2 Me” podcast. “And I want you to know if there’s ever anything I could do, anything I could be a part of, I’m forever indebted to you for just allowing me to be rich. You gave me my first million dollars.”

During an interview on “The Breakfast Club,” Dupri discussed the 1998 deal, emphasizing that he had no hesitation in compensating Ma$e.

“When I signed Harlem World, I wanted to make the deal because Ma$e kept telling everybody in every interview that he did, that he came to Atlanta (GA) to meet with me,” Dupri told “The Breakfast Club.” “So I actually felt like I f–ked up, right? So I felt like, d-mn, I f–ked up and I missed this n–ga Ma$e. He out here killing it. So I’m like, ‘You know what? Let’s make this deal.’ And he told me what he wanted to do, and I didn’t think about it twice. I just was like, ‘Let’s do the deal.’ I ain’t know I was giving him more money than he was [expecting].”

While the deal remains an important milestone for Ma$e, he has gone on to accomplish many feats in music. His debut album “Harlem World,” released after he signed to Bad Boy Records in 1996, reached commercial success, selling over 4 million physical copies thanks to singles including “Feel So Good” and “What You Want,” HipHopDX reports. Ma$e then went on to work with some of the industry greats including Notorious B.I.G. and Mariah Carey.

Ma$e’s time in music did reach a standstill when he announced his retirement in 1999, per XXL Mag. Yet, his exit was not long lived as he would return with the release of his next album later that year, titled “Double Up,” and once again in 2004 with the release of “Welcome Back.”

While Ma$e has praised moments in his career such as his deal with Dupri, he has also addressed shortcomings in the industry, once calling out Diddy for his “business practices” that “starved” artists, according to  USA Today. In 2020, he claimed he was not properly compensated for song publishing during his early career days and Diddy still maintained ownership of some of his music.

Today, Ma$e reportedly has secured ownership of his publishing, as AFROTECH™ previously told you.

Beyond the realms of music, Ma$e has taken over the podcast space as the result of an eight-figure deal to become the co-host of “It Is What It Is” alongside Cam’ron, iHeart mentions.

Since stepping into the world of entertainment, Ma$e has accumulated a fortune worth $8 million, as indicated by Celebrity Net Worth.

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