The celebrated performer opened up to ET's Deidre Behar on Thursday, and explained his inspirational motivations for joining the popular Fox reality competition series.
"I think everybody knows I'm always about the feel good energy," Rhymes shared. "I'm always about the having fun and turning up."
However, there was more to his participation than simply wanting to have fun. The artist wanted to be a wellspring of energy and enjoyment for fans who have been struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, social justice demonstrations and the challenging times all Americans have been facing in recent months.
"Sometimes, in order to continue to fight these battles and challenges that we're facing... in the current time and place, we need moments to be able to refuel and recharge. And I think that being able to remember that we've got to live a little bit and have some fun and be able to loosen up is a part of that," he shared.
"I definitely wanted to be part of whatever it took to contribute to that refueling and that recharging, with making people able to have a little fun and laugh, even if its for a brief moment," Rhymes added.
One big difference about this season of The Masked Singer is the audience. While it appears to viewers at home that the show has a full house, the audience is largely a blend of groundbreaking computer graphics and composite reaction shots. For the performers on stage, it's a far different story and they are singing to a much smaller crowd than it would appear.
According to the "Break Ya Neck" rapper -- who performed a cover of LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" during the show -- there's definitely a difference trying to perform to a nearly empty theater.
"I think the beauty about performing live is the chemistry and the energy, that's unexplainable," Rhymes shared. "You cant really put a direct description to it. It's almost like a thing greater to man. That connection you make with the people, it's like a godly thing."
"Not having them around, it's definitely not the same," he added. "[But] you know that you still got to do it for them and you're doing it for yourself. And as long as you love it, you're still gonna do it the way you should, and that's what's important."
While Rhymes performed a cover on the show, he's carved out a place in rap history for his incomparable talent at speed rapping. Reflecting on his secret to pulling off some of the fastest and most memorable verses ever, Rhymes explained that it's all due to "Years of practice, understanding the science of breath control, and relaxing when you're actually speed rapping."
"When I do a look at me now verse, I actually stand in once place. Because the precision, and the focus on the precision of how I articulate, breath control has a lot to do with that. If I'm not breathing right, I can't deliver it right."