Remembering the legacy of Flava in Ya Ear rapper Craig Mack

Craig Mack, Biggie, Notorious B.I.G, Biggie Small, Cult report
Craig Mack and Notorious B.I.G

Flava In Ya Ear 90s hip hop star Craig Mack would have celebrated his 52nd birthday May 10, 2022 and to pay homage to one of hip hop history’s most iconic voices, who was only 47 years old when he passed away 12 March 2018,  we look at the life of the late great rapper who started it all for Bad Boy Records.

Watch Craig Mack’s Flava In Ya Ear

For those who don’t know, Craig Mack first came onto the scene as MC EZ releasing his debut single ” Just Rhymin” and ” Get retarded” in 1988, under the label Fresh Records. In the early 90’s he worked  for long island hip hop crew EPMD as a roadie, transporting and setting up equipment for the group. While touring with EPMD, Craig met Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy who at the time was working as an A&R for Uptown/MCA records. After meeting Puff, he featured on a remix of Mary J. Blige’s single ” You don’ have to worry” in 1992, showcasing the natural talent he possessed. The following year Puff Daddy would lose his job and start his own label Bad Boy Records, with Craig Mack being the first artist signed.

Craig Mack performs”Get Down” (remix) live on UK show The Word

His first single  “Flava in Ya Ear” released at Bad Boy records, became the first hit for Sean Combs, ultimately building the foundation and massively raised the profile of  Bad Boy records. The smash hit released in 1994, spent 14 weeks at #1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart, a record at the time. The massive success of the single peaked at #9 on the Billboard hot 100 chart, reaching platinum sales status. ‘Flava in Ya Ear” was released on Mack’s debut album Project: Funk Da World, which included singles “Making moves with Puff” and “Get Down”,  successfully reaching Gold sales status and peaked at #6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart of 1994. ” Get Down” was the second hit on the album peaking at #2 on the Hot Rap Songs chart of that time. He had also received a Grammy nomination for his hit song “Flava in Ya Ear”.

“Making Moves with Puff”

The “Flava in Ya Ear” remix released in 1995, featuring The Notorious BIG, Rampage, Busta Rhymes and L.L. Cool J, became a massive video hit, which launched the career of B.I.G. and revived LL Cool J’s one. He went on to release his second LP Operation: Get Down in 1997, not as successful as his debut album but managed to reach #17 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart for that year. Craig Mack just vanished from the music scene after leaving Bad Boy Entertainment to pursue his own label Mack World Entertainment, despite appearing on Bad Boy album “We Invented The Remix Vol. 1” 2002. He had been planning to release a third album titled Affiliation in 2007, but I don’t know the exact details of this release. In 2012 Beazylife Distribution released a Mack mixtape, titled Operation Why2K? – Hosted by B-Eazy’, through DatPiff.com. His last official album release titled Mack World Sessions came out in 2017 a year before he died.

“Flava In Ya Ear” Remix

Craig Mack did not only put Bad Boy Entertainment on the map by being the first rapper signed to the label but also was an integral part in Notorious B.I.G. joing the label. Many believe that because of the rise of Notorious B.I.G, Craig Mack was shelved for 3 years at Bad Boy, and if his next album had been released , he would have followed up the success and buzz around him.

Boyz II Men ft. Treach, Craig Mack, Busta Rhymes & Method Man – Vibin’ (Remix)

However that would not happen, and thus created tension with Diddy at the time, which is clearly seen in a Yo! MTV Raps interview where Puff Daddy speaks on working on Craig Macks new album but Mack’s clearly seems surprised by Diddy mentioning that his new album will release soon, but clearly Craig Mack’s expression says it all and never released a second album via Bad Boy Records as seen below..

Craig Mack, Notorious B.I.G. and Diddy on Yo MTV Raps

Before Craig Mack’s untimely death he left the industry and joined a church, which many considered a cult in South Carolina, which is depicted in the Craig Mack documentary When God Comes trailer.

When God Comes (Trailer)- Craig Mack and Brother R.G. Stair. (Craig Macks Final Interview)

Get Craig Mack’s debut album Project Funk Da World on the platforms below
Apple Music
Spotify
Tidal

What is your favorite Craig Mack track or remix?

Try Apple Music

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