Richard Harvey of the Colleton County Coroner's office confirmed to NPR Music that Mack died in his home near Walterboro, S.C., around 9 p.m. on March 12, of natural causes. His former producer, Alvin Toney, told the Daily News he'd seen him for the last time last week while filming a documentary on Craig's new life.
"God bless my friend".
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.
Despite working odd jobs across the NY area, Mack slowly worked up the ranks of the NY hip-hop scene until he met Sean "Diddy" Combs in Manhattan and performed for him.
DJ Funkmaster Flex said, "Rest in Peace!"
Mack's 1994 hit single "Flava In Ya Ear" has come to be considered a hip-hop classic, and it also appeared in a recent auto commercial as motivational music.
"He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord", he said. In a 1995 profile with The New York Times, Diddy called him "hip-hop's George Clinton, because his stuff is really off the wall".
Mack had been part of Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Entertainment in the 1990s, with a remix of his single Flava in Ya Ear becoming the breakout appearance of The Notorious B.I.G. "He wasn't scared. He was ready".
In recent years Mack had given up the fame and music for a life of religious conviction. He was like, 'You know what I'm gonna trade you a record deal if you get down on Mary J.'s ["You Don't Have To Worry (Remix)"]. "It was something I wanted people to enjoy, but it was cut short because he was very religious and wanted to go to church".
Craig Mack is survived by his wife and two children, both adults.