New York rapper Craig Mack has died at the age of 46 reportedly after battling heart disease.
Alvin Toney, a close friend who also produced Mack’s debut album Project: Funk Da World, shared that the M.C. had been sick for some time. He last visited his friend at a church he frequented in Walterboro, S.C., reports The Daily News.
“Nobody got to understand his story. 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 .” Toney said. During that visit, Mack revealed that he knew wouldn’t survive much longer.
“He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord. He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready,” Toney said.
Mack played an integral part of Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records inception, especially with his hit “Flava In Ya Ear” that introduced listeners to The Notorious B.I.G. The rapper went by MC EZ in the late ’80s, but dropped the moniker by the time “Flava” debuted in 1994. The hit single made it to No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and even No. 9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 proving its crossover success.
In recent years, Mack had been absent from the rap game and did not appear on Diddy’s Bad Boy tour. Instead, he focused on religion as a devout member of the Pentecostal Overcome Ministry commune in South Carolina.
Mack is survived by his two adult children and wife.