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New American Songbook

Remembering Craig Mack | New American Songbook


Bad Boy Records, founded by Sean “Puffy” Combs in 1993, was a cultural force in the mid-90’s.

It was the home of the Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, The Lox and dozens of other New York acts. While most hip hop heads remember the feud between Bad Boy and Death Row records, home of Tupac, Bad Boy was mostly in the business of producing records more than beef, and one of the best artists on their roster was the emcee Craig Mack, who passed away on March 12 of this year at the age of 46.

Where Biggie was the embodiment of New York gangsta rap, Craig Mack was straight ahead emceeing. Boisterous and jocular, in the spirit of the time, Craig Mack had a flow that was instantly recognizable: offbeat delivery and potent phrasing that could only come from countless hours of freestyling in the park.

Hip hop lost a good one this year, a connection to a time in hip hop that still sounds as good as it did when it was new. Craig Mack was an emcee’s emcee, a true practitioner, and he’ll be greatly missed.