Rapper Craig Mack, who rose to prominence in the early 1990s and helped jumpstart Diddy's Bad Boy Records label with his 1994 hit, "Flava in Ya Ear", died of heart failure at a hospital near his home in SC on Monday, according to the New York Daily News.
He was in SC, and reportedly passed away due to natural causes, TMZ reports.
Mack's "Flava In Ya Ear" received a Grammy Award nomination for best rap song but lost to Queen Latifah.
Mack's debut album Project: Funk da Word was his most successful peaking at 21 on the US album charts. Toney told the Daily News he met with Mack as recently as last week.
It's a sad day in the world of Hip Hop this morning as it has been announced that the rapper Craig Mack has passed away at the age of 46. I can not believe this dude is gone.
Toney said: "God bless my friend".
Hailing from Brentwood, Long Island, he cut his first single while still a teenager, under the name MC EZ.
'He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord.
'Nobody got to understand his story, ' said Toney, who was also working with Mack and DJ Scratch on the documentary. "He wasn't scared. He was ready".
While The Notorious B.I.G. later became more closely associated with Bad Boy's success, Mack's "Flava" was the first of a massive 1-2 punch that anchored the label and its "Big Mack Attack" on the Rap world.
'I wanted the world to know the talent he had.
Tributes from across the music industry have started to pour in.
Released nearly 25 years ago in 1994, it tore the roof off of Hip Hop thanks to its all-star remix that featured LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, The Notorious B.I.G. and Rampage.
Craig Mack is survived by his wife and two children.