Craig Mack, whose pioneering hit "Flava in Ya Ear" was released by Diddy's Bad Boy Entertainment back in 1994, died Monday. According to the New York Daily News, Mack died of heart failure at a hospital near Walterboro, South Carolina. He was 47.
Fellow artists and other prominent voices in music remembered Mack's undeniable legacy Tuesday. Producer Alvin Toney, who worked with Mack on a number of projects in the mid-'90s, said he felt "nobody" got to understand Mack's true story.
"I wanted the world to know the talent he had," Toney said in a statement to the Daily News. "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 was in the middle of working on a documentary about Mack's life and had just spoken with him at Overcomer Ministry in Walterboro last week.
The Grammy-nominated "Flava in Ya Ear" earned Mack a Grammy nomination. The Billboard Hot 100–charting track's official remix added the Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Rampage, and LL Cool J to the mix. More than a decade later, Mack's hit was sampled alongside a KC & the Sunshine Band cut on Backstreet Boys' "Don't Leave Me."
Boi-1da, M.I.A., Eminem, Peter Rosenberg, and many more pointed to the track's (and Mack's) continued influence on music after hearing news of his death Tuesday: