Craig Mack Digital Biography
Craig Mack (born September 3, 1971 in North Trenton, New Jersey, USA) is an African-American rapper/hip hop musician, notable for being the first artist to debut on Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Entertainment record label. Although his first single was released under the name MC EZ in 1988, he is best known for his 1994 hit record "Flava In Ya Ear". The star-studded posse-cut remix of that single was the breakout appearance of the label's most popular artist, The Notorious B.I.G. He currently resides in Long Island, New York.
Mack, then known as MC EZ, and partner Troup, debuted as teenagers in 1988, releasing the single "Just Rhymin'" b/w "Get Retarded" on Fresh Records. By the early 1990s, Mack began working as a roadie for fellow Long Island-natives EPMD. While touring with the duo, Mack met Sean Combs, who, at the time, was an A&R for Uptown/MCA Records. Combs enlisted Mack to appear on a remix to the Mary J. Blige track "You Don't Have to Worry" in 1992, giving the young rapper his first notable exposure. The following year, Combs created his own label, Bad Boy Records, and Mack became the first artist signed to the label. His first single for Bad Boy, "Flava In Ya Ear", became the label's first hit, and was a huge crossover success in the summer of 1994, peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and reaching Platinum sales status. The song's remix, featuring The Notorious B.I.G., Rampage, Busta Rhymes and L.L. Cool J, became a video hit, and also helped launch the popularity of future superstar Notorious B.I.G.
Mack's debut album, Project: Funk Da World, was released on September 20, 1994. The album included the original version of "Flava In Ya Ear", as well as the singles "Making Moves with Puff" and "Get Down". The latter became the rapper's second crossover hit in 1994, peaking at #38 on the Hot 100 chart, and reaching Gold sales status. Funk Da World was largely produced by Easy Mo Bee, who produced the hits "Flava In Ya Ear" and "Get Down", and Mack himself. The only guest appearance on the album was provided by Puff Daddy, who appeared on the chorus to the song "Making Moves with Puff". Funk Da World was mildly successful, reaching Gold sales status by 1995. The album was overshadowed by the success of The Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die, which went on to sell over four million copies in the United States.
On his song, "Flava In Ya Ear", Craig Mack remarks during the chorus, "You won't be around next year". Ironically, he was the one nowhere to be seen in 1995, as his stardom within the hip hop world faded. After the release of Funk Da World, Mack severed ties with Bad Boy Records. He returned in 1997 after signing a deal with Street Life Records, and released his sophomore album Operation: Get Down. Legendary DJ Eric B. was the Executive Producer on the project, which featured production from Eric B., Johnny "J", Ty Fyffe, Al West and Mark Morales. The album received mediocre reviews and sales, failing to reach the Top 40, and failing to reach Gold status. The album's lead single, "What I Need", failed to make an impact, peaking at #16 on the Hot Rap Singles chart.
Mack was largely missing from the music scene following his sophomore release, with the exception of a few soundtrack appearances and white label releases. The rapper reappearred in 2002 on the remix of the G-Dep song "Special Delivery" with P. Diddy, Keith Murray, and Ghostface Killah, which can be found on the Bad Boy album We Invented the Remix Vol. 1. After starting his own imprint, named MackWorld Entertainment, Mack released the single "Mack Tonight" b/w "Hip-Hop Life" in 2006. Plans for a third album, tentatively titled The Affiliation, were announced, scheduled for release sometime in 2007.
On November 26, 2012, Beazylife Distribution released a new Craig Mack mixtape, 'Operation Why2K? - Hosted by B-Eazy', through DatPiff.com.
Craig Mack currently resides in Walterboro, South Carolina.
In other media
Craig Mack was interviewed by a reporter for The New York Times in 1995 Samuels, Anita M. "Icon of Rap World at Home on the South Shore." The New York Times, 29 January 1995
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