Get money all over again, get money all over again.
I often wonder what Mase could have achieved — and what hip-hop would look like — if he stuck it out a little longer. Sure, he staged a lil comeback in 2004, but hip-hop — and popular music as a whole — had moved on. He wasn’t able to recapture the glory of the late ’90s and his 1999 retirement is to blame.
It was abrupt and particularly ill-timed — just a month before the release of the lead single from his sophomore album, which was due in two months. That album, Double Up, was every bit as good as his first LP, Harlem World, and contains songs that I still jam to 20 years later.
One of such songs is track 15, “All I Ever Wanted.” It is so late ’90s in many ways, but it could totally be a hit in 2019. The beat, which is samples Lee Oskar’s “San Francisco Bay,” knocks super hard, and the chorus is one that you can’t help but sing along to.
The chorus is sung by female voices that I long assumed belonged to Total, so imagine my shock when I found out that those layered vocals actually belong to an uncredited Cheri Dennis, who won’t have a single of her own for another six years. The more you know.
“All I Ever Wanted” is the hit that never happened, and a small part of me will always wonder, “what if?”