The hip-hop world has lost another member of its community. According to reports, Craig Mack, famous for his stint on the Bad Boy record label, has died. He was 46 years old.
The Long Island rapper, who is best known for the 1994 hit and its remix, “Flava in Ya Ear,” died of heart failure at a hospital near his home in Walterboro, S.C. on Monday (March 12).
Mack rose to fame in 1994 when he dropped “Flava in Ya Ear.” The song became a hit but it was the remix which featured The Notorious B.I.G. that became even more popular. The rapper dropped his debut studio album, Project: Funk Da World, that same year but it was overshadowed by the massive success of Biggie’s Ready to Die which was released just one week before.
The rapper dropped one more album after Funk da World, 1997’s Operation: Get Down and was reportedly working on a new project. Following the news of his death, Erick Sermon revealed the two were finishing up an album.
“I’m devastated over the news of Craig Mack.. We just finishing up his new album.. smh.. Rest in Power Craig,” Sermon tweeted.
While Mack was done with mainstream hip-hop, he never fully gave up rapping. In 2012, it was reported the rapper had joined the conservative Pentecostal Christian church, Overcomer Ministry. Three years later, footage of Mack freestyling with pastor Ralph Gordon Stair made its way throughout the internet.
Easy Mo Bee, who produced “Flava in Ya Ear” and many of the songs on Funk Da World, also shared a story about trying to get Mack back into hip-hop and the rapper’s ties to Christianity.
“About 3 months ago or so, I finally got ahold of [Mack] and we talked on the phone for over an hour,” Mo Bee wrote on Instagram. “Most of the call was me trying to persuade him to start making music again. He felt like after giving his life to God that maybe he shouldn’t rap again.”
“I begged him and explained to him that he had every right to still praise God through his music,” he continued. “I told him that as long as it was genuine and not a blasphemous gimmick, he could still reach souls and spread his message. Finally, he gave in and said ‘Ok Mo Bee, i’ll do it.’ I sent him 5 or 6 tracks and then I never heard back from him.”
Mack is survived by his wife and two adult children.