March 13, 2018
Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage
2018 has already seen the death of iconic stars like Reg E. Cathey, Dennis Edwards and Olivia Cole and now another legendary name joins that list. Long Island rapper Craig Mack has died of heart failure at his home in South Carolina. He was 46.
CRAIG MACK COULDNT BE TOUCHED. RIP ??? pic.twitter.com/v318f1HePS
— Culness (@Culnessco) March 13, 2018
Known for his iconic 1994 hit Flava In Ya Ear (fun fact: The song earned a Grammy nod for Best Rap Solo but ultimately lost to Queen Latifah’s Latifah’s Had it Up 2 Here), Mack got an early start with Bad Boy Entertainment after Puff Daddy discovered him. The young music executive had one request, freestyle to Mary J. Blige and he’d be apart of the family.
Mack and Biggie have long since been credited as the foundation of the record label, but Mack would eventually leave the business altogether, turning his life over to God. He was noticeably missing from the 2015 BET Awards performance that brought back much of the legendary Bad Boy crew as well as the iconic Bad Boy 20 Year Reunion tour in 2016.
This Craig Mack & Biggie interview in '94 is one of my favorite ever. Mack talks about getting discovered by Parrish Smith of EPMD, but more importantly it features Biggie giving him the greatest eye rolls of all-time. https://t.co/gJ1tZJhmaN pic.twitter.com/5EUxjyGGvm
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) March 13, 2018
Hip Hop’s response to the 46-year-old’s death was felt throughout social media.
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. pic.twitter.com/qvnxRTcdXv
— Diddy (@Diddy) March 13, 2018
Rest in Beats Craig Mack
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 13, 2018
Rest in power Craig. May the almighty embrace your soul & lift up your family and friends. it was a pleasure to know you & rock with you. You $tepped away from the game & did it your way.. I always respected that.#RIPCraigMack
— LLCOOLJ. (@llcoolj) March 13, 2018
Mack is survived by his wife and two children, both adults. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family.