New York rapper Craig Mack, known for his 1994 hit “Flava In Ya Ear” and for being the first album artist on Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment, has died. He was 46.
The New York Daily Newsreports that Mack died Monday (March 12) of heart failure at a hospital near his home in Walterboro, South Carolina. Alvin Toney, Mack’s friend and producer of debut album Project: Funk Da World, says Mack was sick for some time, and tells the paper: “God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine… 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.”
Mack leaves behind a wife and two children.
As news spread on social media into Tuesday morning, reaction was swift.
“Rest in Peace CRAIG MACK,” tweeted R.A. The Rugged Man. “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”.
Added M.I.A.: “#CraigMack killed the 90s with 1 song and 1 remix. ????????. Untouchable. RIP.”
Eric Sermon, one half of EPMD, who also came out of the Long Island town of Brentwood, tweeted: “I’m devastated over the news of Craig Mack.. We just finishing up his new album.. smh.. Rest in Power Craig…”
Watch the video for Mack’s hit “Flava In Ya Ear,” in which he famously rocked a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey in front of the World’s Fair in Queens, below. The track’s remix is credited with the introduction to the world of Notorious B.I.G., and also featured Busta Rhymes and Rampage.