On this day, April 20, in hip-hop history...

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1999: Mase may have returned in 2017 with a vengeance, dropping the scathing Cam'ron diss "The Oracle," but 19 years ago today (April 20) the rapper called into the Funkmaster Flex show on Hot 97 and announced he was retiring from rap.

"I gotta do what make me happy," Mase said at the time. "A lot of people gonna say I'm crazy, I'm leaving money behind and a lot of things but it's just how I feel in my heart." The rapper also hinted at his next venture, saying, "Once God puts something in your heart–you know, God talks to everyone different."

Following his retirement, the Harlem rapper quickly turned to a life in the church, telling the New York Daily News at the time, "I've been struggling with this decision for some time now, and I just came to my senses and realized that I've been receiving all types of messages."

Leading up the retirement, Mase was preparing for the release of Double Up, the follow-up to his multi-platinum debut album, Harlem World. But while working on the video for "I Like It," the rapper met actresses Tia and Tamara Mowry, who helped convert him.

Mase stayed retired for five years until making his return in 2004 with Welcome Back. The project marked the beginning of a new, clean-cut Mase, who found success with the singles "Welcome Back" and "Breathe, Stretch, Shake."

While Mase is now back to making the music hip-hop fans loved him for, his 1999 retirement will always be a monumental moment in hip-hop. Take a listen to Mase's phone call with Funk Flex below.

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