The underrated MC…
The Bad Boy curse started with their 1st major artist Craig Mack. A Long Island native rapper, birth place of some legends like EPMD, Rakim and De La Soul to name a few. He began rapping as a teenager as MC EZ. Since he was friends with EPMD, he started going on tour with them as a roadie doing odd jobs for them such as assembling and disassembling DJ Scratch’s turntables at shows and carrying the crates. A few years later, still without a contract, he jumped on an opportunity to rap for Puff Daddy live outside the fame New York Mecca NightClub…and that’s when everything changed for him…. Here’s my top 5 songs of the late Craig Mack short musical career.
1- Get Retarded (1988)
The B side of the only 1988 single “Just Rhymin” as part of MC EZ & Troup. This single was released on Fresh Records, home of EPMD’ s first 2 classic albums. That song had mesmerized me back in ‘89 but I only discovered who sang it and the title in 2012 with the internet by accident. What I remembered was it was the Zoom Zoom Zoom song.
“How much emceein could an emcee MC / If a weak emcee could MC? / But there’s only one emcee that can truly MC / And that one, EZ is me”
2- Flava in Ya Ear (1994)
The one song that started the Bad Boy empire and spawned an all star remix version of the song that became an essential landmark of the 90’s. He introduced a new type of flow with that track that changed the rap game. We all know the rest was history in ya ears…
“I set up rhymes for a decoy / Now I’m a Bad Boy, watch the MC’s I destroy, and…”
3- Straight in Ya Mouf (2017)
Craig Mack straight spitting on the immortal instrumental of Straighten It Out by Pete Rock. You can see the lyrical emceeing style of Mack. A battle rapper with an ill wicked flow. A real crowd motivator.
“Y’all sound the same, a durag and a bullshit name / I suggest that you cool it lame, you hear Mack and you know that it’s time for change”
4- Please Listen To My Demo (2000)
A great cover to EMPD’s rise to fame, but Craig’s version is the opposite, depicting the fall from stardom to anonymity. An harsh and brutal rendition of the emotional struggles after the Bad Boy experience. A poignant and sadly beautiful track..
“King of New York, largest nigga in the game / Me and Biggie Smalls killin’ it on Hot 97 / Now Biggie Smalls is somewhere in Heaven / And I’m down here in Hell / With a story to tell / Prayin’ to God that my shit sell”
5- Real Raw (1994)
This track has an EPMD / Hit Squad flavor. The hardness and flow is amazing. The track was produced by Craig Mack and you can feel the EPMD influence. He just lyrically kills this song from A to Z. He can really get real raw plus his style is hardcore…
“Like Damien, the Omen son, I won’t run / I never ran, fryin’ MC’s like the Sudan / Craig Mack is like a loaded four-five / Mothers get welfare, fathers won’t survive”
So ends one of the most tragic careers in Hip Hop, the Bad Boy curse had struck again, it seems that all the artists who crossed paths with the evil Puff had ended their careers with sad stories. A superb MC that should have had a better career. What if Craig Mack had not rap for Puffy and waited to join the Hit Squad? He would have fitted well with EPMD and the rest of the squad with his style of rap. Rest in Peace to a great lyrical true MC.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, Za-Zoom, Za-Zoom…