On Wax: Hip-Hop Mourns the loss of Craig Mack
On Wax is a weekly take updating you on the pocket of culture known as hip-hop. We bring you everything from breaking news to album drops, jail time and who’s beefing with who.
Lil Pump secures a ‘W’
Just when it started to look like Lil Pump was slowing down, he not only picked up the speed, but bagged eight million on the way. Originally getting out of his deal with Warner Bros earlier this year due to him signing as a minor, Lil Pump has found himself returning to the label this time getting eight million dollars for one album (the voided contract was around two million). Able to bend the label more to his terms, it looks like Lil Pump is not only picking up the largest “W” of 2018 so far, BUT he might’ve just set the trend for the newer artist to start paying more attention to just how much they are really being given from their labels. Announcing that the album deal comes with his “Harvard Dropout,” fans are in high anticipation as Lil Pump is set to take over the game.
Skippa doesn’t give a “D.A.M.N.”
From the ashes, Skippa has risen once again to deliver flexing at its finest. This time he joined with Houston rapper, Sauce Walka, for the track and music video for “D.A.M.N.” At first glance, you might be skeptical to want these two on a track, but some things look better in person than they do on paper, and this music video proves that. Skippa Da Flippa delivers classically, while Sauce Walka does not fail to hold up his end of the track. After watching and listening to “D.A.M.N.,” you have to wonder not only what comes next for Flippa, but if a Sauce Walka collab tape would take place in the future.
Migos epic video
Keeping that iconic flexing ability going, Migos released the music video for “Walk it Talk it,” a track that features Drake. This by far is the best Migos music video where they adopt a Soul Train style, and all three men (well, four including Drake) dance and wear wigs. Projects like these remind me why hip-hop can be fun. No video has looked as fun since Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” which has a similar retro concept. If you haven’t seen it, this is one you don’t want to miss.
Craig Mack passes away
“I’m straight rap great, busting heads, straighten dreads
I’m everlasting, like the toe on PRO-Keds”
On March 12th, original Bad Boy Entertainment artist Craig Mack passed away. One of the most underrated artist in hip-hop, Craig Mack was mostly known for his hip-hop classic, “Flava In Ya Ear.” The remix, largely credited with starting the remix movement, features the best Notorious B.I.G. verses alongside a killer verse from a young Busta Rhymes. The track has remained a staple in the conversation of the golden era of hip-hop, while the beat remains a staple in hip-hop cyphers.
While to some Craig Mack may be a one-hit wonder, his debut album, Project: Funk Da World, is a classic. Although the album was overshadowed by Ready to Die by Notorious B.I.G, the Project: Funk Da World was critically acclaimed and reached gold certification by the RIAA. The album also spawned the single “Get Down.”
Before Bad Boy, Craig originally went under the name MC EZ. In 1988, he dropped a 12” single titled “Just Rhymin’/Get Retarded.” The B-side saw mild success in the underground, making Craig Mack one of the first rappers to have success in two decades of hip-hop. A lot of New York ’80s artists struggled to make it into the ’90s, but Craig Mack adapted and did just fine for himself. Unfortunately, Puff Daddy (P.Diddy, or Diddy, or whatever the fuck) saw Project: Funk Da World as unsuccessful, especially compared to Ready to Die. In a famous interview with Yo! MTV Raps, Puff is asked about the follow-up to Craig’s debut. He states that’ll come in January of 1997 (to Craig’s surprise). While the album did come out, it wasn’t as successful as his debut because Puff had essentially moved towards promoting Biggie.
Afterward, Craig Mack essentially disappeared from the limelight, only showing up once in a while; such as Puff’s “I Need a Girl (Part 1),” as well as some other music up until 2006. However, Craig never saw much to any commercial love. He disappeared again, and resurfaced in 2012. Though, Craig had left hip-hop and became a dedicated Christian where he was very involved in his ministry. He lived in South Carolina with his family for the rest of his life. The causes of Craig’s untimely passing are being chalked up to heart failure.
RIP Craig Mack.
Until Next Time, It’s On Wax.
-Dyllan E. & Hiram