The Bad Boy Entertainment family has lost one of its members.
Craig Mack – who was signed to the Diddy’s iconic label back in the ’90s – passed away at a hospital near Walterboro, S.C., on Monday, of heart failure. He was 46.
Mack’s producer Alvin Toney confirmed his death in a statement to the NY Daily News.
“God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine,” Toney told the newspaper. “He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord. He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready.”
Mack is best known for his 1994 hit single “Flava In Ya Ear”, which earned him a Grammy nomination and a platinum plaque. That same year, Mack released his debut album, Project Funk da World, earning a gold certification.
With the focus on Diddy’s new artist Notorious B.I.G, Mack’s music career never found mainstream success, and he eventually abandoned the hip-hop scene. Mack relocated to South Carolina from New York where he devoted his time to religion.
A 2012 YouTube video revealed Mack’s association with the controversial Overcomer Ministry commune. Led by evangelist Ralph Gordon Stair – who was arrested on a slew of charges, including three counts of criminal sexual conduct in December — is seen confirming Mack’s membership to disbelievers.
“Crack Mack is dead! We have somebody who used to be Craig Mack — and he didn’t join [our church], God joined him,” Stair is heard shouting as he walks towards Mack. Mack then stands up and denounces his former life in the world as “wickedness.”
Easy Mo Bee, the producer behind “Flava In Ya Ear,” took to Instagram where he recalled their last phone call, which took place three months ago. Easy Mo Bee said he tried to coax Mack back into making music, to no avail.
#RIP #CraigMack 1971-2018 The man who rapped “Whatcha gonna do When God Comes?” has unfortunately passed away yesterday on March 12, 2018 Several reliable sources have contacted me saying that it is true that #CraigMack passed away yesterday, March 12. I’ll tell you what’s so disappointing about his passing away… about 3 months ago or so, I finally got ahold of him and we talked on the phone for over an hour. Most of the call was me trying to persuade him to start making music again. He felt like after giving his life to God that maybe he shouldn’t rap again. I begged him and explained to him that he had every right to still praise God through his music. I told him that as long as it was genuine and not a blasphemous gimmick, he could still reach souls and spread his message. Finally, he gave in and said “Ok Mo Bee, i’ll do it.” I sent him 5 or 6 tracks and then I never heard back from him. I made a follow-up call and still no Craig. Maybe he knew he was about to die but just didn’t want to tell me. One of the reliable sources I spoke to not long ago tonight told me that he had told somebody “I’m not gonna be here much longer.” God rest his soul. Now I’m thinking about the record we recorded together called “When God Comes.” He wanted to be ready. That was always on his mind. I pray that today he has finally made it into the Kingdom Of Heaven because that’s all that mattered to him. I’m so in denial. Can’t believe he’s gone. Bless you, my brother. No more suffering. No more pain. The Lord has called you home and finally said well done. EMB
Other members of the hip-hop community took to social media to offer its condolences and tributes to Mack.
Rest In Peace Craig Mack. ✊🏽🙏🏽
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) March 13, 2018
I’m so saddened to get a text about Craig Mack😞 I am grateful to have worked with him on this song on the Dangerous Minds soundtrack & he was so kind funny & Talented 🙌🏾 Rest peacefully Craig🙏🏾 https://t.co/RJy4bqdeP1
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) March 13, 2018
Let’s all hope the rap media refrains from asking these new wave rappers anything about Craig Mack today. 🙏🏿
— KXNG CROOKED I (@CrookedIntriago) March 13, 2018
Mack is survived by his wife and two adult children.