American rapper Craig Mack has died at age 46. Mack died of heart failure at a hospital near his home in South Carolina on Monday, according to the New York Daily News.
His death was confirmed to the outlet by his producer. Alvin Toney, one of the men behind Mack’s debut album, “Project: Funk Da World” and “Get Down Remix”, told the Daily News, “God bless my friend… I wanted the world to know the talent he had. 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 visited Mack just last week. He tells the outlet that during his visit, Mack informed him he had been sick for some time and “knew he wouldn’t live long.” “He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord,” Toney said. “He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready.”
Mack is survived by his wife and two children.
Fans have flocked to social media to honor the late rapper. Peter Rosenberg wrote, “I am so sad to hear about the passing of Craig Mack. You cannot overemphasize the importance that ‘Flava In Ya Ear’ had on hip-hop!”
Mack was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1971. He rose to fame on Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Bad Boy Records in 1994 with the song, “Flava in Ya Ear.” The remixed version of the song marked the breakout performance of The Notorious B.I.G. as well as one of Busta Rhymes ‘ first solo appearances. In 1997, Mack released his second album. The album did not do as well as his first, and no singles charted.
In 2006, after releasing the single “Mack Tonight”, the rapper stepped away from the music industry and became a passionate member of the Pentecostal Overcome Ministry commune in Walterboro, South Carolina. In 2012, a Youtube video was released that showed Pastor Ralph Gordon Stair discussing Mack and his whereabouts. In the video, seen below, Mack says that he left “wickedness” to practice “righteousness.” Stair, who many knew as a sex offender, was charged with raping two women who were members of his cult, according to the Urban Daily. Multiple outlets report that Mack’s family were upset upon hearing the news that Mack had decided to live in a cult.
Early Tuesday morning, Erick Sermon wrote that he was just finishing up Craig’s new album.