Craig Mack, NY rapper and hip-hop pioneer on Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, dead at 46

NEW YORK — Hip-hop pioneer and Long Island native Craig Mack, best known for the platinum 1994 hit "Flava in Ya Ear," has died in South Carolina.

Colleton County Corner Richard Harvey says the 46-year-old Mack died at his home in Walterboro around 9 p.m. Monday. Harvey said it appeared Mack died of natural causes.

Alvin Toney,  who produced Mack’s debut album “Project: Funk Da World” and his "Get Down Remix," tells the NY Daily News the rapper died of heart failure.

The pair met last week to film a documentary about Mack's life, Alvin told the Daily News, noting Mack said he felt sick and did not think he would survive.

The Long Island, New York, native at one time was part of Diddy's Bad Boy Entertainment, which released his first album, "Project: Funk da World," anchored by "Flava in Ya Ear," which was nominated for a Grammy. His follow-up single, "Get Down" went gold.

After Mack left Diddy, he released a second album, "Operation: Get Down" in 1997 but left the music industry and devoted his life to religion.

DJ Scratch said on Instagram that Mack formerly handled his turntable setups and breakdowns.

Mack is survived by his wife and two adult children, Toney tells the Daily News.

Many people, including fellow artists, have taken to social media to pay tribute to Mack: 

PIX11's Ashley Soley-Cerro contributed to this report.