Craig Mack, the 1st rap artist signed to Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records, has died at age 46, his producer confirmed to the NY Daily News.
Mack, who is best known for his '90s hit single "Flava In Ya Ear," died Monday of heart failure at a hospital near his home in Walterboro, S.C.
Alvin Toney, a close friend who produced Mack’s albums, Project: Funk Da World and Get Down Remix, visited Mack last week at the Overcomer Ministry Church in Walterboro to film a documentary on the rapper's life.
Toney tells the News that Mack had been sick for some time.
“God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine,” said Toney.
“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.”
Another lifelong friend, rap veteran DJ Scratch remembered Mack on Instagram.com early Tuesday:
"I just got a disturbing phone call. I cannot believe this dude is gone. He just reached out a couple of weeks ago for me to speak on his documentary about his life."
Other legendary hip-hop veterans remembered Mack on social media, including DJ Funkmaster Flex and rapper Biz Markie.
As of Tuesday morning, rap mogul Combs, who helped launch Mack's career, had yet to speak on his death.
Hip-hop historian Brian @_Valtown_ thinks he knows why.
According to Brian, Combs, 48, and Mack parted ways on unfriendly terms in the '90s after Combs shelved the MC's sophomore album and dropped him from the label in favor of newcomer the Notorious B.I.G.
"Craig Mack did Flava in Ya Ear for Puff as a business thing, but Puff was focused on Big. While they’re on Yo! MTV Raps, he lies about Mack’s second album coming out, which never happened because Puff dropped him after his album only went Gold."
Brian also uploaded a video to Twitter that shows Mack with a skeptical look on his face when Combs mentioned Mack's 2nd album dropping.
Mack, who credited rap legend Parrish Smith, of EPMD, with discovering him, is survived by a wife and 2 adult children.
Craig Mack did Flava in Ya Ear for Puff as a business thing, but Puff was focused on Big. While they’re on Yo! MTV Raps, he lies about Mack’s second album coming out, which never happened because Puff dropped him after his album only went Gold. Peep the look on Mack’s face. pic.twitter.com/HCiph3qfEK
— Brian (@_ValTown_) March 13, 2018