Craig Mack, the 46-year-old rapper who rose to fame on Diddy’s Bad Boy Records in the 1990s, died in South Carolina Monday, March 12.
The death of the MC, best known for his 1994 hit “Flava In Ya Ear,” was confirmed by his producer to the New York Daily News Tuesday, March 13.
“God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine,” said Alvin Toney, who produced Mack’s first album “Project: Funk Da World” and “Get Down Remix.”
Toney, who last saw his friend last week, said the rapper died of heart failure at a hospital near his home in Walterboro, S.C.
The producer had been visiting the 46-year-old, who gave up rap for a life of deep religion, to interview Mack for a documentary so the world can “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,” Toney said of Mack, who was ill for a while and was aware that his days were numbered.
“He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord,” Toney added. “He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready.”
Mack, who leaves behind a wife and two children, made it big on Diddy’s label before other acts like The Notorious B.I.G. took precedence.
He departed the label in 1995 to pursue bigger fame but after releasing new music two years later, he didn’t reach the success of “Flava In Ya Ear.” Mack spent the next several years focusing on religion and joined Overcomer Ministry, which was once led by outed sexual assaulter Ralph Gordon “Brother” Stair. In a 2012 video, Mack said he used to do “wickedness” and now engages in “righteousness.”
After news of Mack’s death broke, lots of hip hop stars began giving their condolences.
Rest in Beats Craig Mack
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 13, 2018
Rest In Peace Craig Mack. ✊🏽🙏🏽
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) March 13, 2018
Rest in Peace CRAIG MACK. Long Island's own. We were proud of Craig when he came out with the little indie song as MC EZ & TROUP. Then a few years later he went on to make one of the biggest most iconic songs in Hip Hop history. Rest EZ. Never forgotten. We love ya bro
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) March 13, 2018
RIP Craig Mack THE LEGEND 🙏🏿
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) March 13, 2018