A New Film Shows Craig Mack’s Career Ended Because Of His Bad Flava With Puffy & Biggie (Video)
It could be argued that Craig Mack is one of Hip-Hop’s greatest one-hit wonders. 1994’s “Flava In Ya Ear” and star-studded remix helped make a name for Craig, as well as his label-mate The Notorious B.I.G., and their leader Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs. However, Craig’s career and Hip-Hop philosophy has never been measured in hits. Dating back to 1988, the Brentwood, Long Island MC (then known as “Troop”) carried a Rap dream with him. It may have manifested itself with the arrival of Bad Boy Records six years later, but there is a lot to the story that never seems to get discussed in the open.
Documentary Crazy Like That Glue: The Craig Mack Story is deeply comprehensive. From the pre-Bad Boy days as an EPMD affiliate to early and public tensions with Puff Daddy and management, Heads can see a truly interesting Rap profile. Directed by James Billings, this one-hour feature doc’ features input from Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, K-Solo, and “Flava In Ya Ear” producer Easy Mo Bee. “I made that beat in my draws’,” reveals the Brooklyn, New Yorker, who worked very closely with Biggie too.
The documentary reveals what a role Alvin Toney (Eric B. & Rakim, EPMD, Freddie Foxxx) played in Craig’s solo breakthrough. Toney, a legendary Long Island manager, was with Craig on tour in the early ’90s. He got involved with a Heavy D & The Boyz concert altercation in Rochester, New York, and “defused” it. As a result, Puffy, who was working with Heavy D, took interest in Toney, and in turn, Mack. Listening to that demo, and eventually signing Craig was that favor actualized. The film chronicles Mack’s Battle Rap skills, and desire to make his Project: Funk Da World album sound more like a Hit-Squad/Def Squad album than a Puffy pop record. They also recall Craig snapping on Puff Daddy in the midst of the mogul’s transformation, as a possible turning point.
Whereas history often portrays Diddy to have abandoned Craig Mack following the skyrocketing success of Biggie, this film, featuring the recollections and opinions of Mack’s closest circle, says otherwise. Managers, DJ Four Five, DJ Diamond, and friends describe how Craig Mack refused the advice and instruction of Bad Boy’s founder and CEO. While Biggie often came prepared to the studio, Craig may not have. Between that and some disrespect, Puffy simply played his closest hand: Biggie. This explains why Craig Mack’s success at Bad Boy lives, and dies, on just one gold-certified album. It also may note why Craig is not involved with items such as the 2016 Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour. The documentary also presents elements of specific interviews, where you can see the tension. Sermon reveals that to this day, Craig Mack is “one arrogant guy,” while old footage of Biggie telling interviews about Craig, “I don’t really fuck with that dude.”
The film, which does not feature Craig at all, examines the MC’s strong ties to organized religion, and its conflict with his career. In the last five minutes of the documentary, Craig’s camp confirms that Suge Knight and Death Row Records made a hard play to sign the MC in mid-1996 (they would later ink a deal with K-Solo). Mack would end up at Scotti Bros. Records, where his friend says “we were paid mad gwap.” Craig would link with Eric B.
#BonusBeat: Friends of Craig Mack say that this Yo! MTV Raps interview shows Craig Mack’s personality dynamic with Biggie and Puffy at Bad Boy:
This is from 1994.