Craig Mack, one of the original Bad Boy artists, has died at the age of 46.
Craig Mack, the Long Island MC who found fame on Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records in the 1990s, is dead at the age of 46.
Mack, who soared into Hip Hop relevancy with his 1994 platinum hit “Flava in Ya Ear” died of heart failure at a hospital near his home in Walterboro, S.C. on Monday. After finding early success, Mack would soon be overshadowed by fellow Bad Boy artist Notorious B.I.G., never reaching the same heights of his early career.
Mack’s career took off with the help of Diddy, then known by the nickname “Puffy”.
Combs, the founder of Bad Boy Entertainment, met the aspiring Mack at the Manhattan club Mecca and promised to sign him if he would freestyle to another of his artists, Mary J. Blige. Mack put on a show.
Soon, Mack’s star-studded debut, “Flava In Ya Ear,” took off. The single went on to receive a Grammy nomination for best rap solo, losing to Queen Latifah’s “Latifah’s Had it Up 2 Here.”
A remix to “Flava In Ya Ear” featured Bad Boy’s other ascending stars, including a Brooklyn rapper named Christopher Wallace, known as Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G. He is largely responsible for bringing the record label to prominence with his multi-platinum-selling debut album, 1994’s “Ready to Die.”
At the time, Diddy claimed both B.I.G. and Mack as the foundation of Bad Boy Records.