Former Bad Boy Records rapper Craig Mack has died

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The hip-hop star is best known for the 1994 hit single Flava In Ya Ear, and was the first artist to release an album on Diddy's Bad Boy Records.

Close friend DJ Scratch paid tribute on Instagram, and revealed they had been discussing a documentary about Mack's life.

New York Daily News confirmed the rapper's death in an interview with Mack affiliate/producer Alvin Toney, reporting that the rapper died of heart failure on Monday at a hospital in Walterboro, S.C.

Mack was signed to Bad Boy by Puff Daddy in the early '90s. In fact, it was the remix of Mack's infectious "Flava in Ya Ear" track that introduced to the world a rapper by the name of the Notorious B.I.G. His second album Operation: Get Down failed to live up to the same success and peaked at number 46 in 1997.

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Toney spoke with Mack last week and the two were collaborating on a documentary about Mack's life and his decision to leave fame to focus on religion.

Rapper Craig Mack has died at the age of 46, according to reports in the USA press. It contained the single Flava in Ya Ear, the remix of which reached the US Top 10 thanks in part to an all-star cast of guest rappers: the Notorious BIG, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J and Rampage. Because Craig was my [roadie] on tour. "He was a good friend of mine", Toney told the Daily News. "He wasn't scared. He was ready", said the music producer. "I wanted the world to know the talent he had. I can not believe this dude is gone", said Scratch on Instagram.

Mack left the music industry shortly thereafter and resurfaced in 2012 when he espoused his religious beliefs in a YouTube video upon joining the Overcomer Ministry church in Walterboro.

"I just got a disturbing phone call".

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