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Rapper Craig Mack Has Died At Age 46 – The Hip Hop Community Sheds Tears & Reveals He Worked On A Documentary In His Last Days

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As the news of rapper Craig Mack's shocking passing takes over today, hip hop and beyond is paying homage. The Bad Boy fam, rap legends and more are mourning, and we have their heartfelt word inside.

At age 46, Bad Boy rapper Craig Mack has passed way.  The NY Daily News attributes his death to heart failure, and his death was confirmed by his long time producer DJ Scratch and long time friend and fellow rap legend Erik Sermon.


Erik said today to TMZ that he died of congestive heart failure, and even told his closet friends 6 months ago that  he didn't have long to live:

The '90s MC broke the news Tuesday -- hours after Craig passed away in South Carolina -- telling us the "Flava in Ya Ear" rapper had only 25% of his heart working in his final months.

Sermon, shed more light on Craig's final days. He says the Bad Boy Records pioneer had called his closest friends -- including Erick and Biz Markie -- 6 months ago to tell them what he was battling, but didn't want them to see him in his frail condition.



Scratch confirmed that Craig, who became one of Bad Boy's first rap superstars with "Flavor In Ya Ear," had moved away from the music industry over the last decade or so after being called to worship the Lord.  He was deeply involved with his church and ministry, and also turned down the opportunity to join the recent Bad Boy Reunion.

Still, Craig Mack had a story to tell.  According to those close to him, the Long Island native was working on a documentary to do just that.



Craig Mack was one of the few people to strike lighting twice in Hip Hop. First with "Get Retarded" on Fresh Records in 1988, then with Bad boy. After his first strike of lightning, he went through a lot of struggles, a lot. He mentions his struggles in many interviews after he blew up with Bad Boy. You all know how cruel the public can be when someone falls off in Hip Hop. Unfortunately, that cruelty is ALWAYS by "Our People". Craig recently requested me to speak about these things in his upcoming documentary because I embraced him during his trying times after just meeting him. If I had to describe him with one word I would say "Innocent". He was sooooooo innocent, a dope MC, a hell of a beat maker & cool GREAT Dude. Craig was Hit Squad before K-Solo, Redman & Das Efx were discovered. Unfortunately Craig never got the opportunity to get his chance with the Hit Squad because EPMD broke up. Everyone's careers were in jeopardy & Craig was back on his own again. A few years later, EPMD's longtime bodyguard Alvin Toney took Craig Mack's demos to Puffy, Puff signed him & put Bad Boy Records on the map with the platinum single "Flavor In Ya Ear". I cried when I saw Craig had finally made it to superstardom because I saw the struggle, the set backs, I was extremely proud of him!!!! The underdog finally wins!!!!!! He's my definition of never giving up when you're going through it & he's an example of what can happen when you believe in someone regardless of their set backs. This industry is very cruel & backstabbing, I've saw my fair share of it & Craig has seen even more than me. So years ago he left the industry & gave his life to GOD. At that moment is when he was most happy, regardless if no one understood his life changing decision. This has hit home for a number of reasons. First, is because he's the first person in our camp to pass away. News that I wouldn't expect to hear for another 40 years. Second, because he passed away 3 days after Biggie. I won't say rest in peace, because he was already at peace before he passed. I will miss you Craig.

A post shared by Turntable Whisperer (@djscratch) on

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The fact that Craig's passing comes just three days after the 21-year anniversary of one of his original aces, Notorious B.I.G.'s, death was lost on no one.

The hip hop community, including Bad Boy honcho Diddy, are openly shedding tears today in remembrance:



A post shared by Biz Markie (@officialbizmarkie) on


Man. To be In hip hop culture & live past the age of 50 is a fight to the finish for real. All due respect to #CraigMack. For some reason w exception of a RARE few, like #ProtectYaNeck, #ScenarioRemix —maybe #ShutEmDown remix—-I kinda think #FlavaInYaEar was the hip hop freestylers’ 1st viral instrumental choice. I mean there was always the lunchroom desk & beatboxing. But hip hop really didn’t do straight up instrumentals til like—1988/1989 on 12 inches (lots of DUBS, kinda there to assist mc’s in concert spitting verses w vocal guides?) but I’m just saying the weekend Flava came out I NEVER heard a dj play a joint like 7 times in a row (rare times were #RebelWithoutAPause & #IKnowYouGotSoul) but this was different: 1st of all this single slowed the east coast down DRASTICALLY (1987-1993 east coast was HYPED! on 100bpm-115bpm)—-Flavor was the sound of weed. Not the previous panic crack era music. Like 93 bpms—just perfect to kick a Freestyle: sparse in arrangement & foooonky—-it’s weird that the flagship song of such a commercial radio dominated label was one of the grimiest underground joints ever. I was actually in London at the time when dj 279 premiered that joint at a party. He played that instrumental like 20 mins straight and I saw like 9 simultaneous ciphers happening in the club. Man I was jealous of that beat. I know #Juicy wound up the winner in that race but man we cannot forget one of the greatest hip hop single debuts in the culture. That song was the gym routine mc’s brushed their skills on. All due respect to brother Craig Mack w/o him & his cant lose single who knows what empire #BadBoy woulda become. Rest In Peace Boyeeeeee.

A post shared by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on



Its just so exhausting

A post shared by Pete Rock (@realpeterock) on


Our condolences go out to Craig Mack's wife, family and friends. R.I.P.


Photo: Johnny Nunez




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