Craig Mack, who’s song “Flava In Ya Ear”, not only put himself on the map, but made Bad Boy Records a household name, passed away Monday, at a hospital near his home in Walterboro, South Carolina. Mack reportedly died of heart failure. He was 46-years old.
Craig Mack came on the scene like a tsunami in the early 90’s. “Flava In Ya Ear” was one of those songs radio stations were playing around a zillion times a day. It was one of those songs that everyone knew, from little kids to grandparents. Craig Mack came to Bad Boy Records at the perfect time. Mary J. Blige was the only big act for the label. Bad Boy had no rap acts that were “really on” at the time. When Flava In Ya Ear dropped, Biggie Smalls was still a secondary act on the label. Biggie’s first album wasn’t even completed or released yet. No one really knew how Big B.I.G would go on to be at the time. But Craig Mack was different. With the huge success of Flava In Ya’ Ear, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that Mack was about to blow. For some crazy reason unknown to me, when Mack’s album released, it didn’t do what everyone thought that it was going to do. The album wasn’t bad, but at the time people thought that Mack was going to be the next big thing in rap. It wasn’t too long after the album, that Biggie came to the forefront. All attention seemed to shift from Craig Mac to Biggie. Even the Bad Boy label seemed to put Craig Mack on the shelf.
Craig Mack appeared on a few remixes and dropped another album before he disappeared from the entertainment limelight. He never seemed to reach that superstar status that people thought he was destined for. The New York Times (@NYTimes) reports, Mack’s friend and producer Alvin Toney who produced Mack’s debut album Project Funk Da World” said of Mack “God Bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine.” Toney said he saw Mack for the final time last week when he visited him at the Overcomer Ministry Church he attends in Walterboro to film at documentary about the emcee. The documentary reportedly speaks about why Mack left the fame and decided to pursue religion.
Nobody got to understand his story. 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. He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord. He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready.”
Toney said of his friend. No word on if the documentary Toney was attempting to get material for, and never finished, will be released in the future. Craig Mack’s story is surely one that garners heavy attention though. Like me, I’m sure that most people wonder what happened to Craig Mack after he left Bad Boy and the industry spotlight. Craig Mack is survived by his wife and two adult children.
R.I.P Craig Mack, your place in Hip-Hop history is secured.
Video courtesy: Bad Boy Entertainment