From the 1997 album: "Operation: Get Down"
Craig Jamieson Mack (May 10, 1970 – March 12, 2018) was an American rapper from Brentwood, New York.
Although his first single was released under the name MC EZ in 1988, Mack is best known for his 1994 hit single "Flava In Ya Ear", which was released under his real name. The remix of the single was the breakout appearance of The Notorious B.I.G., as well as one of the first solo appearances by Busta Rhymes. The success of The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album Ready to Die overshadowed Mack's early success on the Bad Boy label. However, B.I.G. himself namedropped Mack in his breakout hit "Big Poppa" with the line "I got more Mack than Craig".
Although Puff Daddy mentioned in a 1994 interview on MTV's Yo! MTV Raps that he was working with Mack on his second album, which was to be released sometime in January the following year, this proved to not be the case. Present at that interview (which also included The Notorious B.I.G.), Mack himself appeared puzzled by the statement. Mack did release a second album in 1997, but none of the singles charted and Mack was unable to repeat his success. In an interview, Biggie Smalls says he appeared on the remix of "Flava In Ya Ear" for political reasons for Puffy. In 2002, Mack would appear in the music video for Puffy's single "I Need a Girl (Part One)".
After a few attempts to be successful in the early-2000s, it was said that Mack was working on his third studio album in 2002, which was set to be released in 2007. The single "Mack Tonight" was released for the album in 2006. Mack then disappeared in the hip-hop industry until in 2012 a video was leaked on YouTube, saying he had joined a Christian ministry, surprising family members and fans. From 2012 until his death, Mack resided in the Overcomer Ministry located in Walterboro, South Carolina. The Overcomer Ministry's YouTube channel released a video titled "Craig Mack Testimony" on May 22, 2016, although recorded the previous day, in which Mack appears in the middle of the church to rap about conspiracy and Christianity through a remix of "When God Comes". The last part of the video entails a full version of the song with better production quality and a beat. The song expresses the cult's beliefs, that Mack plans to stay in the cult, and that he respects no one who wants him to come back to mainstream rapping. The song also mentions that he "moved [his] family to South Carolina", which doesn't align with other reports expressing the family's concerns for his choices. According to the video, Mack felt he was doing "wickedness" in New York, and "righteousness" in South Carolina.
On November 26, 2012, Beazylife Distribution released a new Craig Mack mixtape, Operation Why2K? – Hosted by B-Eazy, through DatPiff.com.
In 2017, The Mack World Sessions was released, containing 18 tracks recorded between 2000 and 2006.
Mack died on March 12, 2018 from heart failure at a hospital near his home at Walterboro, South Carolina. According to DJ Scratch he was ill for some time before his passing and was prepared for a grim outcome. Following his death, rapper Erick Sermon wrote on Twitter that he was finishing work on Craig Mack's new album.