Craig Mack, one of the earliest artists to break out on Sean Combs’ Bad Boy Label, has died from heart failure near his home in Walterboro, SC. He was 46.
Combs issued a statement, saying “Craig Mack, you were the first artist to release music on Bad Boy and gave us our first hit. You always followed your heart and you had an energy that was out of this world. You believed in me and you believed in Bad Boy. I will never forget what you did for hip-hop. You inspired me, and I will continue to try to keep inspiring others. We will always love you. #badboy4life #ripcraigmack”
Mack, born in Brentwood, NY, released his first single using the name MC EZ in 1988 but it wasn’t until 1994 that he broke out with the top ten hit “Flava in Ya Ear” (1994 / #9 Pop / #4 R&B / #1 Rap) which included the Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and the Rampage on a popular remix of the track.
Craig’s album, Project: Funk the World, also did well, going to 21 on the Billboard 200 and 6 on the R&B Albums. Along with “Flava”, the album also included his second hit, “Get Down” (1994 / #38 Pop / #17 R&B / #2 Rap).
Mack’s second album, Operation: Get Down (1997 / #46 Pop / #17 R&B) could not bring him back to his former status and only one track from the album managed to chart, “What I Need” (1997 / #55 R&B / #16 Rap).
He continued to try and restart his career but was, ultimately, unsuccessful. In 2012, he joined the Overlook Ministry in Waltersboro, SC where he resided until his death.
A final album, The Mack World Sessions, which were recorded between 2000 and 2006, was finally released last year.