Hip-hop has unfortunately lost yet another legend. Craig Mack, one of the genre's trailblazers in the '90s, has died on Monday (March 12), NY Daily News reports. He was 46 years old.
The rapper passed away from heart failure at a hospital near his home in Walterboro, South Carolina. Mack, a then-Bad Boy Records signee, rose to fame thanks to his breakthrough hit, 1994's "Flava In Ya Ear." It peaked No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, was certified Platinum and became one of Bad Boy's (which was just launched the year prior) biggest successes at the time. The following remix featured LL Cool J, Rampage, Busta Rhymes and the first official appearance of The Notorious B.I.G. The original "Flava In Ya Ear" single later earned Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance.
Along with the success of the single, Mack's debut album Project: Funk da World peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold. While Bad Boy founder Diddy teased that the rapper's sophomore follow-up would arrive soon, that proved to not be the case. Instead, Mack left the label and released his next and final album Operation: Get Down through Street Life Records. The LP was more of a struggle and Mack faded from the public eye, only to appear in Diddy's 2002 video for “I Need a Girl Part 1." The rapper reportedly joined the controversial Pentecostal Overcome Ministry in South Carolina.
Go down memory lane and celebrate Craig Mack's life below.
Next, watch a tribute to fellow Bad Boy artist and hip-hop great Notorious B.I.G.