By: Jarrod Horton
The Hip Hop community is mourning the death of former Bad Boy rapper Craig Mack. The emcee was the first artist signed to Diddy’s label. He had the massive hit Flava In Ya Ear and followed it up with the remix that not only had a dope video but help put LL’s career back on the map.
While checking out some of the social media posts from various people within the entertainment circle; I noticed a significant statement from The Roots drummer Questlove. “Man. To be In hip hop culture & live past the age of 50 is a fight to the finish for real.”
Man. To be In hip hop culture & live past the age of 50 is a fight to the finish for real. All due respect to #CraigMack. For some reason w exception of a RARE few, like #ProtectYaNeck, #ScenarioRemix —maybe #ShutEmDown remix—-I kinda think #FlavaInYaEar was the hip hop freestylers’ 1st viral instrumental choice. I mean there was always the lunchroom desk & beatboxing. But hip hop really didn’t do straight up instrumentals til like—1988/1989 on 12 inches (lots of DUBS, kinda there to assist mc’s in concert spitting verses w vocal guides?) but I’m just saying the weekend Flava came out I NEVER heard a dj play a joint like 7 times in a row (rare times were #RebelWithoutAPause & #IKnowYouGotSoul) but this was different: 1st of all this single slowed the east coast down DRASTICALLY (1987-1993 east coast was HYPED! on 100bpm-115bpm)—-Flavor was the sound of weed. Not the previous panic crack era music. Like 93 bpms—just perfect to kick a Freestyle: sparse in arrangement & foooonky—-it’s weird that the flagship song of such a commercial radio dominated label was one of the grimiest underground joints ever. I was actually in London at the time when dj 279 premiered that joint at a party. He played that instrumental like 20 mins straight and I saw like 9 simultaneous ciphers happening in the club. Man I was jealous of that beat. I know #Juicy wound up the winner in that race but man we cannot forget one of the greatest hip hop single debuts in the culture. That song was the gym routine mc’s brushed their skills on. All due respect to brother Craig Mack w/o him & his cant lose single who knows what empire #BadBoy woulda become. Rest In Peace Boyeeeeee.
Reading that, brought me back to the article I wrote about how so many Hip Hop artists don’t live to see the age of 50. It is something I noticed after the passing of Prodigy of Mobb Deep. Anyway to check out the article click here and R.I.P to Craig Mack. Thanks for putting the Flava In Our Ear!