“Craig Mack, you were the first artist to release music on Bad Boy and gave us our first hit. You always followed your heart and you had an energy that was out of this world. You believed in me and you believed in Bad Boy. I will never forget what you did for hip-hop. You inspired me and will continue to inspire us. We will always love you. RIP Craig Mack.” – Sean “Puffy” Combs
Craig Mack, the Long Island rapper who was the first artist Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs signed to his Bad Boy label, has died at age 46 from heart failure at a hospital near his Walterboro, S.C., home Monday. The news of his passing became a top trend on twitter and many of his fans expressed their feelings about his sudden death and music. According to DJ Scratch, Craig Mack was ill for some time before his passing and was prepared for a grim outcome.
Best known for his 1994 hit single, “Flava In Ya Ear”, which is considered a hip-hop classic, even appearing in a recent car ad as motivational music, Craig Mack helped put Bad Boy Entertainment on the map. He released his first and only studio album with the label called Project: Funk da World that reached Gold-RIAA sales thank to the singles “Flava In Your Ear,” “Get Down,” and “Making Moves With Puff”. Though commercially successful & acclaimed at the time of its release, the album was overshadowed by the massive success of label mate Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die, and Craig Mack quickly lost public image, releasing only one other album, the commercially unsuccessful Operation: Get Down, in 1997.
After a few attempts to be successful in the early-2000s, Craig Mack disappeared from the music business and resided in the Overcomer Ministry located in Walterboro, South Carolina. Craig Mack felt he was doing “wickedness” in New York, and “righteousness” in South Carolina.
In 2017, The Mack World Sessions was released, containing 18 tracks recorded between 2000 and 2006.
Rapper Eric Sermon twitted on Twitter that he was finishing work on Craig Mack’s new album.
Toney, who helped produce Project: Funk Da World, told the NY Daily News he was working on a documentary about Craig Mack. “Nobody got to understand his story,” Toney said. “I wanted the world to know the talent he had. It was something I wanted people to enjoy, but it was cut short because he was very religious and wanted to go to church.”
R.I.P. Craig Mack! Now you are in heaven with Notorious B.I.G.