Craig Mack Passes Away At 46

(CNN) Craig Mack, one of the artists who laid the foundation for Bad Boy Records, has died, the label’s former director of marketing Michelle Joyce confirmed to CNN.

He was 46.
No cause of death was immediately released, though Joyce said he had been ill for some time.

His death comes days after fans celebrated the 21st anniversary of the death of his label mate Christopher Wallace, the rapper known as Biggie Smalls (a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.) who was gunned down in a still-unsolved murder on March 9, 1997 in Los Angeles.

Mack’s 1994 song “Flava in Ya Ear” was the first single off of Sean Comb’s Bad Boy label and the subsequent remix featuring artists including The Notorious B.I.G. and LL Cool J became one of the defining songs of 1990s hip hop.

“If Berry Gordy had Smokey Robinson and ‘Shop Around’ to launch Motown we had Craig Mack with that single ‘Flava in Ya Ear,'” former Bad Boy president Kirk Burrowes told CNN. “It’s not only one of the greatest debut singles in hip hop history, it launched a label.”

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