Former rapper Craig Mack dies

Back in the mid-1990s, Mack was signed to Bad Boy Records, the label famously owned by Sean "Diddy" Combs. He was a good friend of mine", said Alvin Toney, who produced Mack's albums "Project: "Funk Da World" and "Get Down Remix".

"Nobody got to understand his story", Toney said.

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".

According to Toney, Mack told him that he was ill for some time and believed he would not live very long.

However, it was Funkmaster Flex's Instagram post that broke the collective heart of fans on social media.

Craig Mack is survived by a wife and two adult children.

Mack's career was overshadowed by the commercial and critical acclaim of The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album Ready to Die, which was released the same year and month as Mack's debut.

"The one word that I would use to define Craig is 'cooperative, '" she told CNN.

Diddy, going by Puff Daddy at the time, took Mack under his wing after the aspiring rapper proved his prowess by freestyling outside club Mecca in Manhattan.

In 2006, after releasing the single "Mack Tonight", the rapper stepped away from the music industry and became a passionate member of the Pentecostal Overcome Ministry commune in Walterboro, South Carolina.

"I can not believe this dude is gone", said DJ Scratch, the stage name for George Spivey. He would set up & break down my turntables every night on tour.

Rapper Erick Sermon also shared a tribute to Mack, revealing that he and the late rapper had just finished work on a new album.

Mack started as an assistant to EPMD and wanted to follow in the footsteps of LL Cool J. News of Mack's death drew remembrances across the Strong Island hip-hop community.

  • Jon Douglas