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Craig Jamieson Mack (May 10, 1970 – March 12, 2018) was an American rapper and producer from Brentwood, New York. He helped build the foundation for Bad Boy Records, one of hip-hop’s most influential labels. He began rapping as a teenager under the name MC EZ and released one single in 1988, “Just Rhymin’ ” backed with “Get Retarded,” as part of MC EZ & Troup. Mack then became friends with the hip hop duo EPMD and eventually went on tour with them, doing jobs as a roadie. He helped their D.J., DJ Scratch, assemble and disassemble his turntables at shows. After a few years without forward movement in his recording career, Mack took advantage of an opportunity to rap for Sean Combs, then known as Puff Daddy, outside the New York nightclub Mecca, and secured a record deal with Combs’s label, Bad Boy. Mack is best known for his 1994 hit, Flava in Ya Ear.

Craig Mack
Born
Craig Jamieson Mack

(1970-05-10)May 10, 1970
DiedMarch 12, 2018(2018-03-12) (aged 47)
OccupationRapper
Years active
  • 1988–2006
  • 2012–2018
Children2
Musical career
Genres
Labels
Associated acts

CareerEdit

His first single "Get Retarded/Just Rhymin'" was released under the name MC EZ in 1988 on Fresh Records. Mack is best known for his 1994 hit single "Flava In Ya Ear", which was released under his real name. The remix of the single was the breakout appearance of The Notorious B.I.G., as well as one of the first solo appearances by Busta Rhymes. The success of The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album Ready to Die overshadowed Mack's early success on the Bad Boy label. However, B.I.G. himself namedropped Mack in his breakout hit "Big Poppa" with the line "I got more Mack than Craig".

Although Puff Daddy mentioned in a 1994 interview on MTV's Yo! MTV Raps that he was working with Mack on his second album, which was to be released sometime in January the following year, this proved to not be the case. Present at that interview (which also included The Notorious B.I.G.), Mack himself appeared puzzled by the statement.[3] Mack did release a second album in 1997, but none of the singles charted and Mack was unable to repeat his success. In an interview, Biggie Smalls says he appeared on the remix of "Flava In Ya Ear" for political reasons for Puffy.[4] In 2002, Mack would appear in the music video for Puffy's single "I Need a Girl (Part One)".

After a few attempts to return to success in the early-2000s, it was said that Mack was working on his third studio album in 2002, which was set to be released in 2007. The single "Mack Tonight" was released for the album in 2006. Mack then disappeared from the hip-hop industry until in 2012 a video was leaked on YouTube, saying he had joined a Christian ministry, surprising family members and fans. From 2012 until his death, Mack resided in the Overcomer Ministry located in Walterboro, South Carolina.[5] The Overcomer Ministry's YouTube channel released a video titled "Craig Mack Testimony" on May 22, 2016,[6] although recorded the previous day, in which Mack appears in the middle of the church to rap about conspiracy and Christianity through a remix of "When God Comes".[7] The last part of the video entails a full version of the song with better production quality and a beat. The song expresses his personal beliefs. Mack planned to stay in the ministry and said that he had no intentions to come back to mainstream rap. The song also mentions that he "moved [his] family to South Carolina", which did not align with other reports expressing the family's concerns for his choices.[8] According to the video, Mack felt he was doing "wickedness" in New York, and "righteousness" in South Carolina.[9]

On November 26, 2012, Beazylife Distribution released a new Craig Mack mixtape, Operation Why2K? – Hosted by B-Eazy, through DatPiff.com.

In 2017, The Mack World Sessions was released, containing 18 tracks recorded between 2000 and 2006.

Dutch record label, MECSMI, released the 'That's My Word' mixtape, hosted by DJ Tape Deck King, via DatPiff and YouTube on August 20, 2018.

On November 25, 2018, 'That's My Word' posthumously won 'Mixtape of the Year' at Bout Dat Online's Audio Dope Awards. This marked the first time Craig had won an award since 'Flava In Ya Ear' won 'Single of the Year' at the 1995 Source Awards.[10]

DeathEdit

Mack died on March 12, 2018 from heart failure at a hospital near his home at Walterboro, South Carolina.[11][12][13] According to DJ Scratch he was ill for some time before his passing and was prepared for a grim outcome. Mack was apparently suffering from heart failure, having developed shortness of breath from around six months before his death when, according to rapper Erick Sermon, he called his friends to bid farewell.[14] Following Mack's death, Sermon wrote on Twitter that he was finishing work on Craig Mack's new album. Mack is survived by his wife and two adult children.[15]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US
[16]
US R&B
[17]
Project: Funk da World 21 6
Operation: Get Down
  • Release date: June 24, 1997
  • Label: Street Life Records/Scotti Brothers
  • Formats: CD, cassette
46 17
The Mack World Sessions
  • Release date: September 1, 2017
  • Label: Mack World
  • Formats: Digital download

SinglesEdit

Years Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Album
US
[19]
US R&B
[20]
US Rap
[21]
UK
[22]
1994 "Flava in Ya Ear" 9 4 1 57 Project: Funk Da World
"Get Down" 38 17 2 54
1997 "What I Need" 103 55 16 Operation: Get Down
1998 "Jockin My Style"
1999 "Wooden Horse"
(featuring Frank Sinatra)
What's the Worst That Could Happen?
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Craig Mack, 'Flava in Ya Ear' Rapper, Dead at 47". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Craig Mack Has Died Of Heart Failure At 47". XXL Magazine. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Diddy/Puff Daddy CAUGHT Lying to Craig Mack about 2nd album!!!". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  4. ^ "Notorious BIG With Lil Cease Interview (Throwback Footage)". YouTube.
  5. ^ Nicola Menzie, "Rapper Craig Mack, Now a Christian, Testifies of Leaving 'Wickedness' for 'Righteousness' in Church Video," The Christian Post, August 8, 2013.
  6. ^ The Overcomer Ministry (2016-05-22), Craig Mack Testimony, retrieved 2016-06-10
  7. ^ BoomBap4Life (2011-04-10), 10 – When God Comes – Craig Mack, retrieved 2016-06-10
  8. ^ "MTO WORLD EXCLUSIVE!!! Former Bad Boy Artist Craig Mack JOINS A CULT!! (He's Living In A COMPOUND . . . Run By A Man Who Calls Himself THE MESSIAH) – MediaTakeOut.com™". MediaTakeOut.com™. 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2016-06-10.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ tlink79 (2012-05-22), Craig Mack and His NEW RAP – The Video – See it LIVE!, retrieved 2016-06-10
  10. ^ "Bout Dat Online's Audio Dope Awards 2018 (hosted by United Elementz Media) – WINNERS!". Bout Dat Online. 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  11. ^ "90s Hip hop star Craig Mack dead at 46". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Craig Mack dead at 46 – hip hop star known for 'Flava in Ya Ear' passes away". The Sun. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Craig Mack, New York rapper on Diddy's Bad Boy label, dead at 46". NY Daily News. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Craig Mack Died of Congestive Heart Failure, Says Erick Sermon". TMZ. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Craig Mack Dead at 47". Complex. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Craig Mack Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  17. ^ "Craig Mack Album & Song Chart History – R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2011..He know resides in Baldwin Hills, Ca
  18. ^ a b c "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  19. ^ "Craig Mack Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  20. ^ "Craig Mack Album & Song Chart History – R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  21. ^ "Craig Mack : Allmusic : Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  22. ^ "Chart Log UK: M – My Vitriol". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 27, 2011.