Back in the early part of 1994, Sean Combs was just an upstart, wannabe label impresario who’d recently cut ties with Andre Harrell and Uptown Records after helping develop some of that label’s biggest stars. Thanks to Craig Mack, Puff Daddy soon became a household name (along with P. Diddy, Diddy, Brother Love, and Love) after Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear” produced the Bad Boy Records’ first bonafide hit.
Mack passed away in the late hours of Monday, March 12, leaving behind that legacy, one which Combs has apparently never forgotten, despite their differences over the years (Mack left Bad Boy after the success of “Flava In Ya Ear,” and he never returned to the same heights of stardom). The mogul took to Twitter to express his gratitude for Craig Mack’s work for Bad Boy and to celebrate his life and legacy.
“Craig Mack, you were the first artist to release music on Bad Boy and gave us our first hit,” wrote Combs, “You always followed your heart and you had an energy that was out of this world. You believed in me and you believed in Bad Boy. I will never forget what you did for hip-hop. You inspired me and will continue to inspire us. We will always love you. #RIPCraigMack #BadBoy4Life”
Diddy included a clip from the music video for the “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix),” which introduced the world to Bad Boy’s biggest star, the late The Notorious BIG. Mack was working on a new album with producer Erick Sermon when he passed.