New York rapper Craig Mack has died at the age of 46 after reportedly 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 he 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 in the rise of Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records, especially thanks to his massive hit “Flava In Ya Ear.” 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 2016 Bad Boy reunion 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.