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Bad Boy rapper Craig Mack dead at 46

Craig Mack
Craig Mack with Biggie

Early/mid ’90s Bad Boy Records rapper Craig Mack died of heart failure in a hospital near his Walterboro, SC home on Monday (3/12). He was 46. NY Daily News reports:

Craig Mack, the Long Island rapper who found fame on Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records in the mid-1990s, has died at age 46, his producer confirmed to the Daily News.

Mack — who launched to hip-hop acclaim with the platinum hit “Flava in Ya Ear” in 1994 before being overshadowed by fellow artists such as the Notorious B.I.G. — died of heart failure at a hospital near his Walterboro, S.C., home Monday.

“God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine,” said Alvin Toney, who produced Mack’s debut album “Project: Funk Da World” and his “Get Down Remix.”

Toney also discussed Mack’s decision to retire from music to pursue a life of religion, and mentioned that Mack had been ill for some time. “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,” he said, before adding, “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.”

Though Mack had retired, EPMD’s Erick Sermon tweeted that they were “just finishing up his new album” before he passed away.

Fellow musicians such as Evidence, Boi-1da, Pharoahe Monch, Termanology, Roc Marciano, Joe Budden, and R.A. the Rugged Man have paid tribute on Twitter. See those tweets, along with the video for “Flava In Ya Ear,” below.

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