The Last Days Of Craig Mack – Tha Wire
Today in Tha Wire it's with a heavy heart that I report, rap legend Craig Mack, died of heart failure (Monday March 12, 2018.) He was only 46-years old. I gotta say, I was both surprised and extremely sad to hear the news. The Daily News reported, the iconic emcee actually knew he wasn't going to live long.
His longtime friend, and music producer Alvin Toney, got an opportunity to spend time with Mack right up until a week before he died. He told the DN that the music pioneer was pretty sick over the last year, but didn't reveal the source of the illness. Toney did say however, that the rap pioneer was prepared to be with the Lord. He also revealed that he was working on a documentary about Mack's life. Toney explain that his inspiration was the fact that, “Nobody got to understand his story.”
I guess Toney was is on to something. One minute Craig Mack had the hottest track in Hip Hop, the next he had completely disappeared from the music scene. I myself wondered what happened. So I did some digging, and this is what I learned. Mack signed to Bad Boy Records in 1994, one year after Sean Diddy Combs founded the label in 1993. Alvin Toney was there from the very beginning, and even produced the Long Island rappers debut album Project: Funk Da World.
The LP spawned two major hits for Mack. The lead off single was the iconic Platinum smash, Flava In Ya Ear, and the follow-up was his certified Gold track Get Down. Both singles led to the raspy-baritone spitter's instant rise to fame, and set the stage for a Bad Boy music takeover during the mid 90's.
Remixes on the two massive hits helped solidified the singles as classics, and only added to the anticipation of Mack's 2nd album. The Flava remix just made one of the greatest Hip Hip tracks of all time, even better. It featured rap royalty like the G.O.A.T L.L.Cool J, Busta Rhymes (in his first appearance as a solo artist,) and an up and coming Bad Boy artist named The Notorious B.I.G. Nearly 24-years after it's release Mack's epic hype track was used in the new ad for the 2018 Ford Fusion. Definitely proof, that Craig Mack made a HUGE impression.
What's crazy, is Diddy released Biggie's debut album, Ready to Die, exactly one week before releasing Mack's Funk Da World. This would ultimately have a devastating effect on the Long Island legends career. The enormous success of Big's album, literally overshadowed Craig Mack's opportunity at achieving super stardom. Mack quickly became the victim of music politics, and his popularity quickly lost momentum. He would eventually drop, Operation: Get Down, but the follow-up album wasn't released until 1997. By then, the thrill was gone for fans and the album failed to make an impact. He would make two more attempts at a comeback, appearing in Diddy's music video for I Need A Girl (part I,) putting out a couple of tracks here and there like, until leaving the music scene entirely.
In 2012, word came that Craig Mack had joined the Christian ministry Overcomer Ministry in South, Carolina. Many people were alarmed and felt he'd joined a cult. The church was led by Brother Ralph Gordon Stair, whom had a lengthy criminal past. He condemned medical intervention, and it was forbidden for members to leave the church compound. The self proclaimed prophet was also the subject several controversies, including three infant deaths, allegations of sexual abuse, and running a cult.
The Brother R.G. was arrested on more than one occasion and under investigation for unappropriated contact with little girls. In 2017 Stair was arrested several times and charged with everything from 8 counts of first-degree and third-degree criminal sexual conduct with minors, kidnapping, and burglary.
Prior to his death the former rapper sold his home, gave his positions and money to the church, and moved his wife and kids to Walterboro, South Carolina where he lived with the Overcomer community until his untimely death. Below is more details surrounding Craig Mack's death, the ministry he joined, the concern celebrity friends had for his health and safety, and more info about Brother Stair.
Craig Mack obviously believed in God. He appeared to be happy, and on a journey with the Lord. If he found salvation, joy, and contentment with the decisions he made...good for him. I like many, truly hope that he is resting in sweet peace. People make choices like this for different reasons. While Mack's intentions seemed genuine, I don't feel Stair was legit.
Clearly the so-called prophet is a sick man. He's also a criminal, manipulator, sexual predictor, and should be locked up for the rest of his days for the heinous crimes he's committed against children. Why he's not in jail now is a mystery, but one things for sure....his day is coming.
As for Mack's longtime friend Alvin Toney, he's determined to tell the rappers story with the pending documentary. Hopefully he got all the footage he needed, and the film could hit theaters in the near future. There are no other details about unfortunately, but I will keep everyone posted going forward on any updates. In closing after Mack's death Toney told the Daily News, “God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine." He continued, “I wanted the world to know the talent he had. It was something I wanted people to enjoy, but it was cut short because he was very religious and wanted to go to church.”
RIP Craig Mack. Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to his wife, kids, and friends. We will never forget you. I'll leave you with the music that made him the Rap legend, he'll forever be remembered as.
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