Craig Mack Explains Why He Chose Redemption Over Revenge, In His Last Interview (Video)

Rapper Craig Mack passed away this March. The Long Island, New York native was deeply mourned in the Hip-Hop community at a time when he had recently reconnected with early mentor Erick Sermon (as well as Method Man and Mr. Cheeks on “Come Thru”), and was said to be working on an album. Sadly, Craig suffered from heart failure near his home in Walterboro, South Carolina, and the 47-year-old MC was not able to see his latest comeback through.

Vlad TV has published an excerpt from what they report as Craig Mack’s final interview. In an especially compelling clip, the former Bad Boy Records star and creator of the gold-certified Project: Funk da World album speaks about a key crossroads in his life.

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“I got with somebody—I’m not gonna say their names—I’m just gonna say ‘somebody’ that wanted to do another album with me,” begins Craig. He does not specify when this was. “So I said cool; I gave ’em my price. The price, to me, was low. They were supposed to give me the money. I go in the studio, and I start bangin’ out [songs]. So he came to me and was like, ‘Yo, I can only cut you a third of the money I was supposed to give you.’ I said, ‘You know what, man? I want to do these songs. If you’re gonna do this, that, and the third, let’s do it [anyway]. You’ll give me the money as we go. I think [I will need] a third [soon], and a third when we finish the actual recording of the album.'”

Craig continues, “Nothing happened—no money. So I stop recording, ’cause I’m not gonna be an idiot and sit here and do all this stuff for everybody and [meanwhile] I’m not gonna see anything from it. Next thing I know, [he] comes with this bullish, mafia mentality with him and his goons and all this stuff like that, talkin’ about, ‘Yo, you owe us an album.’ I’m like, ‘Excuse my French, but I don’t owe you sh*t! You owe me money. So if you come up with the rest of this dough, then we can come up with the rest of the album. No dough, no records. That’s it.’ [He said], ‘I don’t think you know what you mean when you sayin’ that, man. You know what type of dude I am. You know what kind of muscle I got. Right now you need to be in the studio!’ So I said, ‘Alright, meet me up there at seven o’clock.’ I went and I got one of my gunmen. [Later, at the studio], they saw him, and they fell back. ‘Cause they were gonna do something to me. But they didn’t.”

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Mack says the tense negotiations persisted. The former Hit Squad affiliate previously known as M.C. EZ insisting that without cash, he would not record. “I’m not gonna be sittin’ here, goin’ to the studio all night, every night, bustin’ my ass and I ain’t seeing nothing from it!” Mack says the tensions continued outside of business too. “I caught a couple of threats [from] passers-by in the street,” he reveals. “[One day] I was sitting there, going to pick up my sister from work. I’m in her car,” he describes. An exasperated Craig prayed. “I was just like, ‘God, I’m so tired of everything that’s goin’ on.'”

He goes on to admit that on that particular day he was more than just tired. “I was in my sister’s car, and I had a gun in my lap. I’m sittin’ there, and I’m talkin’ to God: ‘Lord, I don’t want to do this. But if it comes to getting ugly where somebody’s gonna try to kill me, I’m gonna have to do something first, or do something to prevent that from happening…I’m frustrated. I really need your advice and your love right now.’ I started flipping around the radio stations: 660 AM or FM—one of the stations where [The World’s Famous] Supreme Team used to be on,” referring to the 1970s and ’80s WHBI radio and recording crew consisting of See Divine The Mastermind, JazzyJust the Superstar (fka Just Allah), and others. “Early in the morning, the dudes in Hempstead would have that joint blastin’! So I was lookin’ for that. And when I [tuned] the station, all this Gospel music came on. It was this song that I’d never heard before in my life, ever. But I knew that it was God talking to me, because of the way that it made me feel, emotionally. I broke down and started crying all over the place in the car. [I prayed], ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was thinking about trying to do this to somebody,’ ’cause it was really in my heart to kill him. I was gonna do it. But I knew in my conscience that [is] not the right thing you’re supposed to be doing.”

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Craig Mack would eventually relocate to South Carolina and reportedly devoted much of his time since the early 2000s to serving and worship.

#BonusBeat: Def Squad Records released this Erick Sermon-produced Craig Mack song today:

The song is called “Don’t Worry Mack Tonite.”