Rapper-turned-pastor Mase took some time out of his preaching to deliver a message on social media he said may be “unpopular, it still needs to be said.”
In a lengthy message posted to his Instagram page on Wednesday, May 5, the Atlanta pastor shared his perspective on individuals who decide to join street gangs, stating, “The weakest thing a black man can do today is join a street gang.”
He added, “The person who you’re riding for today ends up getting a bag to kill you or sending you to jail.” Mase implored listeners to consider the characteristic of a person who would ask another individual to “hurt your own people and take an oath to be there for your gang only to end up not being there for your children and family.” Mase admitted he “NEVER UNDERSTOOD THAT” concept.
The 43-year-old concluded his statement, stating, “Maybe that’s why I NEVER THOUGHT PEOPLE IN GANGS WERE TOUGH! If you’re thinking about becoming one don’t!” He added, “I RESPECT A MAN THAT CAN STAND ON HIS OWN.”
It’s unclear what prompted this message from the former Bad Boy signee, but it may have either been a part of a 22-day journey he’s on of “speaking my mind,” or his sermon may have been triggered by the increase of violence over the last year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that 2020 was the deadliest year for Atlanta in decades, where Mase preaches. There were 157 homicides investigated in 2020, up from the 99 in 2019 and the most in more than two decades.
Nonetheless, Mase’s post garnered mixed reactions from online users. Several people agreed with his statement, with some users even stating that the message wasn’t as unpopular of stance as he may have initially thought it would be.
“This is Real Rap Bro!! Its not unpopular opinion at all.. Folks are just scared to say it!! It been wack. Especially now.”
“Very POPULAR but silent sentiment. Never understood the gang appeal though I grew up surrounded by it.”
However, some critics felt Mase disregarded and discredited the rationale for joining gangs.
One Instagram user tried to explain in the comments section, writing, “Alot of people grow up in different circumstances. It’s like you joining bad boy records back in the day………….”
When others retorted that this was an apples-and-oranges comparison, the user fired back, saying, “Besides the violence, how isn’t it? He style joined a group at that time to what? Make money.” They followed up by saying, “most people join gangs because they’re just looking for that family oriented love. Is it right? I never said it was. I just say some people have different situations. It’s not always about committing crimes and killing each other.”
Another Instagram user believed Mase missed the mark, “You don’t know what you be talking about no more old man. It a war out here in the streets where I know my peeples got my back when it hot out chere.”