Rapper Craig Mack, best known for his hit 1994 single “Flava in Ya Ear,” has died of heart failure at 46 years old, according to the New York Daily News. Reportedly, he passed away on Monday at a hospital near his Walterboro, SC home.
The Long Island native was one of Diddy‘s first artists on Bad Boy Records, and he provided the very first platinum single for the label. In fact, it was the remix of Mack’s infectious “Flava in Ya Ear” track that introduced to the world a rapper by the name of the Notorious B.I.G.
Mack eventually left Bad Boy and went on to release more music that never charted like his debut success. Mack vacated the limelight and devoted himself to religion, specifically Overcomer Ministry, which is in South Carolina.
Alvin Toney, the producer on Mack’s debut album Project: Funk Da World, spoke to the New York Daily News about the rapper. “God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine,” he said.
Toney had just gone to see Mack last week to film a documentary he was working on about the Mack’s choice to dedicate his life to 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,” stated Toney.
Apparently, Mack had been sick for some time and was prepared for his fate, according to the producer. Mack is survived by his wife and two adult children.
According to EPMD‘s Erick Sermon, Mack was working on a new album. No word on if any of that music or any part of the unfinished documentary will be released. Celebrities have taken to social media to eulogize Craig Mack.
RIP Craig Mack, Bad Boy’s first album artist. He had two perfect singles and the platonic rap remix. That’s more than most. May he kick that ol’ robotic, futuristic, George Jetson crazy shit in the infinite. pic.twitter.com/yjoHjIH00Z
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) March 13, 2018
I’m devastated over the news of Craig Mack.. We just finishing up his new album.. smh.. Rest in Power Craig…
— Erick Sermon (@iAmErickSermon) March 13, 2018