Producer Alvin Toney confirmed to the New York Daily News that Craig Mack suffered fatal heart failure at a hospital near his home in Walterboro, South Carolina, yesterday (March 12). Colleton County, South Carolina Coroner Richard Harvey told Variety that the rapper was 47 years old.

According to his biography on Allmusic.com, the Long Island MC entered the public sphere when Sean “Diddy” Combs, impressed by Mack’s verse on a remix of a Mary J. Blige’s “You Don’t Have to Worry,” signed the rapper to his then-fledgling label, Bad Boy Records.

Mack helped put Bad Boy on the map with his song “Flava In Ya Ear.” The single’s success was heightened by a remix that featured The Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Rampage and LL Cool J. USA Today writes that the remix was one of the first “posse cuts,” where solo rappers trade verses, to break into the mainstream. The Recording Industry Association of America notes that the original single went platinum by the end of 1994. 

Mack left Combs and Bad Boy after his first album, “Project: Funk Da World,” and ultimately exited the music industry after the comparatively dismal performance of his second album, “Operation: Get Down.” Mack later moved to South Carolina, where he joined The Overcomer Ministry and remained a faithful adherent to the church until his death. 

Toney told the Daily News that he was working on a documentary about Mack. “Nobody got to understand his story,” he said. “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.”

Fellow artist Erick Sermon tweeted today (March 13) that he was working on another album with Mack that, if released, will be the late MC’s first in over 10 years: 


Mack’s name trends on Twitter today as Sermon and others tweet their condolences:


Celebrate Mack with the following standout tracks: