‘Flava In Ya Ear’ Hip-Hop Star Craig Mack, Dies At 46

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Former New York rapper Craig Mack, best known for his 90s smash hit single “Flava In Ya Ear,” died at age 46, on March 13, 2018. Mack died of heart failure at a hospital near his Walterboro, S.C. home, according to his producer.

“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.”

“Nobody got to understand his story,” Toney told the NY Daily News. “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.”

Tony said Mack told him during his visit that he had been ill for some time and knew he wouldn’t live long.

“He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord,” Toney said. “He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready.”

Mack is survived by his wife and two children, both adults, Toney said.

As a boy, Mack dreamed of making it big like LL Cool J and Run DMC, according to a New York Times profile of Mack. He began penning his own lyrics at age 12.

With the help of Sean “Diddy” Combs that dream came true.

The Bad Boy Entertainment founder met the aspiring artist at the Manhattan club Mecca and promised to sign him if he could freestyle to Mary J. Blige. Mack did not disappoint.

Soon, Mack’s star-studded hit, “Flava In Ya Ear,” was born. The song went on to earn a Grammy nomination for best rap solo but lost to Queen Latifah’s “Latifah’s Had it Up 2 Here.”

A remix to the song featured other hip-hop all-stars, Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes.

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“This is my life here,” Diddy said, gesturing to Mack and Biggie Smalls during an 1992 interview with MTV Raps. “We all need each other to live and breathe. That’s the way we treat each other.”

Mack departed the label in 1995, hoping to strike out on his own, but the iron didn’t strike twice and he never was a hot as the first hit.

He released “Operation: Get Down,” in 1997 under the Volcano Entertainment label, but it failed to produce a hit single.

Mack appeared in the music video for Diddy’s 2002 hit “I Need a Girl Part 1,” but he was missing when Diddy reunited his Bad Boy crew for the 2015 BET Awards.

It was the first public appearance people have seen of Mack in awhile after he left the label to pursue his Christian faith…