Craig Mack Former Diddy's Bad Boy rapper dead at 46

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Born in Queens, New York, Mack was known as a lyricist and was the first artist to release an album on Diddy's Bad Boy Records with Project Funk da World. The 46-year-old's death has been mourned by a number of the MCs and DJs who knew him, including Biz Markie, Funkmaster Flex, and DJ Scratch.

Mack was one of the pioneer artists signed to the defunct Bad Boy Records by Puff Daddy in the early '90s and gave the label its first successful rap single with 'Flava In Ya Ear'. A remix of the song was later released, featuring the Notorious BIG, Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J. "He was a good friend of mine", said Alvin Toney, who produced Mack's albums Project Funk Da World and Get Down Remix.

Mack released his second album "Operation: Get Down" in 1997 before quitting music to devote his life to religion.

Mack left the music industry shortly thereafter and resurfaced in 2012 when he espoused his religious beliefs in a YouTube video upon joining the Overcomer Ministry church in Walterboro.

Following news of his death, a number of his contemporaries have paid tribute online with DJ Scratch writing: "I can not believe this dude is gone. He just reached out a couple of weeks ago for me to speak on his documentary about his life", he shared.

"God bless my friend".

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"Craig was my roadie on tour. Rest In Peace Lil Bro".

He returned to music past year, releasing the 18-track Mack World Sessions album.

'He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord.

Rapper Biz Markie also paid tribute, saying: "He had two flawless singles and the platonic rap remix.

He was ready." Craig leaves behind a wife and two adult children, according to the producer.

Even more notable than Mack's initial hit single was the remix that followed.