'Flava in Ya Ear' rapper Craig Mack dies at age 46

Craig Mack
Johnny Nunez  WireImage

The song would go to #1 on the Billboard Rap Charts, and climb to #9 on the publication's Hot 100 Singles chart.

In 1997, he released a sophomore album, "Operation: Get Down", after leaving Bad Boy. "I can not believe this dude is gone", Scratch wrote early Tuesday morning. Rest EZ. Never forgotten. You inspired me, and I will continue to try to keep inspiring others. "We love ya bro".

In recent years Mack had given up the fame and music for a life of religious conviction.

The producer had been visiting the 46-year-old, who gave up rap for a life of deep religion, to interview Mack for a documentary so the world can "know the talent he had".

Alvin Toney, who produced Project: Funk Da World, told The New York Daily News that he had just seen the rapper last week. Mack talks about getting discovered by Parrish Smith of EPMD, but more importantly it features Biggie giving him the greatest eye rolls of all-time.

During Toney's visit, the producer said, Mack told Toney that he had been sick for a long time and knew he wouldn't live long.

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- Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 13, 2018Rest in Power Craig Mack My condolence to his family, friends and fans.

So strong was his love for the genre that he told the New York Times he made a decision to forgo furthering his education.

Craig Mack with Notorious B.I.G., early 90s. In this game, man, people don't realize the music industry only has a 1 percent rate ratio, so sometimes it's very stressful and it brings you only to places that you can go to and should go to, which is God. "I always respected that.#RIPCraigMack".

"I just got a disturbing phone call", read Scratch's Instagram post.

Brooklyn's DJ Scratch remembered Mack as the hardworking roadie who helped set up and break down his turntables on tours. A video which surfaced around 2012 shows Stair beginning an introduction by proclaiming: "Crack Mack is dead!" That's more than most. May he kick that ol' robotic, futuristic, George Jetson insane shit in the infinite. It was revealed that Craig chose to give up a career in hip-hop to devote himself to religion and the church.

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