Craig Mack

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Craig Mack
Craig Jamieson Mack

(1970-05-10)May 10, 1970
The Bronx, New York City, U.S.[1]
DiedMarch 12, 2018(2018-03-12) (aged 47)
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active
  • 1988–2006
  • 2012–2018
Musical career
OriginLong Island, New York, U.S.
GenresHip hop

Craig Jamieson Mack (May 10, 1970[2] – March 12, 2018) was an American rapper and record producer, and was famous during his tenure under Bad Boy Records.

Early life and career[edit]

Craig Jamieson Mack was born in The Bronx, New York, and raised on Long Island.[2] He began rapping as a teenager under the name MC EZ. His first single, "Get Retarded", was released in 1988 via Fresh Records. The single was backed with and credited as MC EZ & Troup.

Mack became friends with fellow Long Island hip hop act EPMD and eventually went on tour with the duo, doing jobs as a roadie. After a few years without forward movement in his recording career and EPMD's breakup, Mack took advantage of an opportunity that Alvin Toney made possible for him to rap for Sean Combs. Mack then secured a record deal with Combs's newly founded label, Bad Boy Records.

Mack is best known for his 1994 hit single "Flava in Ya Ear", which was released under his real name. The remix of the single was the breakout appearance of The Notorious B.I.G., as well as one of the first solo appearances by Busta Rhymes.[3] While Mack was technically the first rapper to release music on Bad Boy Records,[2][4] the success of The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album Ready to Die, which released exactly seven days before Mack's debut album Project: Funk da World, overshadowed Mack's early success on the label.[3]

Although Sean Combs mentioned in a 1994 interview on MTV's Yo! MTV Raps that he was working with Mack on his second album, which was to be released sometime in January 1995, this proved to not be the case. Present at that interview (which also included The Notorious B.I.G.), Mack himself appeared puzzled by the statement. Mack did release a second album in 1997 without Bad Boy, but none of the singles charted and Mack was unable to repeat his success. In an interview, The Notorious B.I.G. says he appeared on the remix of "Flava in Ya Ear" for political reasons for Combs.[5] In 2002, Mack would appear in the music video for Puffy's single "I Need a Girl (Part One)".[6]

After a few attempts to return to success in the early-2000s, it was said that Mack was working on his third studio album in 2002, which was set to be released in 2007.[citation needed] The single "Mack Tonight" was released for the album in 2006.

Mack was absent from the hip hop industry until in 2012, when a video was leaked on YouTube saying he had joined a Christian ministry, surprising family members and fans.[7][8] From 2012 until his death, Mack resided in the Overcomer Ministry located in Walterboro, South Carolina.[9] The Overcomer Ministry is a secluded Christian commune that has been described as a cult,[10][7] and whose leader Brother Stair has been charged with various crimes, including assault and sexual conduct with a minor.[10] The Overcomer Ministry's YouTube channel released a video, "Craig Mack Testimony", on May 22, 2016,[11] in which Mack appears in the middle of the church to rap about Christianity through a remix of "When God Comes".[12] The last part of the video entails a full version of the song with better production quality and a beat. The song expresses his personal beliefs. Mack planned to stay in the ministry and said that he had no intentions to come back to mainstream rap.[citation needed] The song also mentions that he "moved [his] family to South Carolina", which did not align with other reports expressing the family's concerns for his choices.[13] According to the video, Mack felt he was doing "wickedness" in New York, and "righteousness" in South Carolina.[14]

On November 26, 2012, Beazylife Distribution released a new Craig Mack mixtape, Operation Why2K? – Hosted by B-Eazy, through[15] In 2017, The Mack World Sessions was released, containing 18 previously unreleased tracks.[16] Dutch record label MECSMI released the That's My Word mixtape, hosted by DJ Tape Deck King, via DatPiff and YouTube on August 20, 2018.[17] On November 25, 2018, 'That's My Word' posthumously won Mixtape of the Year at Bout Dat Online's Audio Dope Awards.[18] This marked the first time Mack had won an award since "Flava In Ya Ear" won Single of the Year at the 1995 Source Awards.[19]

Personal life and death[edit]

Mack was married and had two children, a son and a daughter.[20] Among his close friends was rapper and beatboxer Biz Markie.[20]

Mack died on March 12, 2018, from heart failure at a hospital near his home at Walterboro, South Carolina.[21][22][23] According to DJ Scratch, he was ill for some time before his death and was prepared for a grim outcome. Mack was apparently suffering from heart failure, having developed shortness of breath from around six months before his death when, according to rapper Erick Sermon, he called his friends[20] to bid farewell.[24]

Following Mack's death, Sermon wrote on Twitter that he was finishing work on Mack's newest album.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Project: Funk da World 21 6
Operation: Get Down
  • Release date: June 24, 1997
  • Label: Street Life Records/Scotti Brothers
  • Formats: CD, cassette
46 17
The Mack World Sessions
  • Release date: September 1, 2017
  • Label: Mack World
  • Formats: Digital download


Years Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US Rap
1994 "Flava in Ya Ear" 9 4 1 57 Project: Funk Da World
"Get Down" 38 17 2 54
1995 "Making Moves with Puff"
1997 "What I Need" 103 55 16 Operation: Get Down
1998 "Jockin My Style"
2001 "Wooden Horse"
(featuring Frank Sinatra)
What's the Worst That Could Happen? & The Mack World Sessions
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1994 "Flava in Ya Ear" Craig Henry


  1. ^ "Craig Mack, 'Flava in Ya Ear' Rapper, Dead at 47". Rolling Stone. March 13, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Caramanica, Jon (March 13, 2018). "Craig Mack, 'Flava in Ya Ear' Rapper, Is Dead at 47". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Thompson, Paul (March 13, 2018). "Remembering Craig Mack, Bad Boy's Forgotten First Success Story". Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  4. ^ "How Craig Mack helped secure Bad Boy Records' place in hip-hop history". The Independent. March 19, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  5. ^ "Notorious BIG With Lil Cease Interview (Throwback Footage)". Archived from the original on December 13, 2021 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ "P. Diddy [feat. Usher & Loon] – I Need A Girl Part 1 (Official Music Video)". Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2020 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ a b "Is Craig Mack Part Of A Religious Cult?". March 9, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  8. ^ "r/hiphopheads – Wait, so hold up, did Craig Mack join a doomsday cult?". October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  9. ^ Menzie, Nicola (August 8, 2013). "Rapper Craig Mack, Now a Christian, Testifies of Leaving 'Wickedness' for 'Righteousness' in Church Video". The Christian Post.
  10. ^ a b Schladebeck, Jessica (March 13, 2018). "Inside the controversial 'cult' where rapper Craig Mack spent his final years". NY Daily News; Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  11. ^ The Overcomer Ministry (May 22, 2016), Craig Mack Testimony, archived from the original on May 25, 2016, retrieved June 10, 2016 – via YouTube
  12. ^ BoomBap4Life (April 10, 2011), 10 – When God Comes – Craig Mack, archived from the original on December 13, 2021, retrieved June 10, 2016 – via YouTube{{citation}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "MTO World Exclusive!!! Former Bad Boy Artist Craig Mack JOINS A CULT!! (He's Living In A COMPOUND . . . Run By A Man Who Calls Himself THE MESSIAH)". March 8, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ tlink79 (May 22, 2012), Craig Mack and His NEW RAP – The Video – See it LIVE!, archived from the original on December 13, 2021, retrieved June 10, 2016{{citation}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Operation Why2k? Mixtape by Craig Mack Hosted by B-Eazy". Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  16. ^ "Listen To Craig Mack's Last Album 'The Mack World Sessions'". Vibe. March 13, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  17. ^ "That's My Word Mixtape by Craig Mack Hosted by Tape Deck King". Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  18. ^ "Bout Dat Online's Audio Dope Awards 2018 (hosted by United Elementz Media) – WINNERS!". BOUT DAT LIFE!. November 25, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  19. ^ "Bout Dat Online's Audio Dope Awards 2018 (hosted by United Elementz Media) – WINNERS!". Bout Dat Online. November 25, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  20. ^ a b c "Craig Mack Dead at 47". March 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  21. ^ "Craig Mack Has Died Of Heart Failure At 47". XXL Magazine. March 13, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  22. ^ "90s Hip hop star Craig Mack dead at 46". Houston Chronicle. March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  23. ^ Hensley, Nicole (March 13, 2018). "Craig Mack, New York rapper on Diddy's Bad Boy label, dead at 46". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  24. ^ "Craig Mack Died of Congestive Heart Failure, Says Erick Sermon". TMZ. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  25. ^ "Craig Mack Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  26. ^ "Craig Mack Album & Song Chart History – R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2011..He know resides in Baldwin Hills, Ca
  27. ^ a b c "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  28. ^ "Craig Mack Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  29. ^ "Craig Mack Album & Song Chart History – R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  30. ^ "Craig Mack : Allmusic : Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  31. ^ "Chart Log UK: M – My Vitriol". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 27, 2011.