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R.I.P. Hip Hop Legend Craig Mack Known For ‘Flava In Ya Ear’ Gone At 46-years old

Hip Hop just had another blow to the chest with the news this morning that Craig Mack has passed away due to heart failure. For the next few days many will celebrate and honor this great man and the new generation has a chance to learn a little bit more about the history behind hip hop and who was really involved in the pioneering of it all.

Despite the apparent success, Mack never released another album on Bad Boy. He released the album Operation: Get Down on Scotti Brothers Records in 1997, but it didn’t have the impact of his debut. Mack would later escape the hustle of New York for a slower pace in the South. He moved to Walterboro, South Carolina with his family and joined Overcomer Ministries.

In Diddy’s documentary Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, there is a scene where Diddy and his team are trying to convince Mack to perform on the Bad Boy Reunion tour that took place in 2016. Mack declined the offer due to his religious beliefs.

(Complex) Craig Mack, whose hit “Flava in Ya Ear” was released by Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment back in 1994, died Monday. According to the New York Daily News, Mack died of heart failure at a hospital near Walterboro, South Carolina. He was 46.​

Fellow artists and other prominent voices in music remembered Mack’s undeniable legacy Tuesday. Producer Alvin Toney, who worked with Mack on a number of projects in the mid-’90s, said he felt “nobody” got to understand Mack’s true story.

craig mack

Image via Getty/Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives

“I wanted the world to know the talent he had,” Toney said in a statement to the Daily News. “It was something I wanted people to enjoy, but it was cut short because he was very religious and wanted to go to church.” Toney was in the middle of working on a documentary about Mack’s life and had just spoken with him at Overcomer Ministry in Walterboro last week.

The Grammy-nominated “Flava in Ya Ear” earned Mack a Grammy nomination. The Billboard Hot 100–charting track’s official remix added the Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Rampage, and LL Cool J to the mix. More than a decade later, Mack’s hit was sampled alongside a KC & the Sunshine Band cut on Backstreet Boys’ “Don’t Leave Me.”