The death of Bad Boy Records OG Craig Mack brought forth much mourning from the hip-hop community in March, as the “Flava In Ya Ear” legend was honorably recognized for kicking in the door for one of hip-hop’s most historic record labels and helping spearhead the careers of emcees like The Notorious BI.G. and Busta Rhymes.
A lesser-known fun fact about the artist formerly known as MC EZ was that he also had a low tolerance for nonsense, which influenced his decision to depart from the music industry to pursue a closer relationship with God. A newly surfaced interview of Craig’s speaks to this in-depth through his recollection of a deal gone bad that started with a threat and could have ended with a death had he not received a perfectly timed inner-calling from the Lord.
In the interview with Prime Time Music, posted by VladTV, Mack recalls the situation where a person he left unnamed prompted him to do another album. He agreed to the project and even gave the person a low price for it, he explained.
They ended up getting the ball rolling and Mack had already begun laying down tracks when the person told him that they’d unfortunately only be able to give him one-third of the money. Luckily for this individual, Mack said he had a personal interest vested in the music and wanted to keep going with the project, so he cut a deal: he’d be paid a third of the agreed upon amount for now, then the person could continue paying him as they went along, and presumably the last one-third upon finishing the album.
Unfortunately, he still wasn’t getting paid and decided to stop recording, a decision that led to a phone call from the undisclosed person. Mack said that the threatening phone call began with the individual claiming that Mack owed them an album.
“And I’m like, ‘Excuse my French, but I don’t owe you sh**. You owe me money’,” he said. “’So if you can come up with the rest of this dough, we can come up with the rest of the album.’ No dough, no records. That’s it.”
The person refused to oblige and instead said “You know what kind of dude I am, you know what kind of muscle I got,” the New York emcee remembered.
Mack had heard enough and told him to meet him at an unspecified studio at 7 p.m. He made sure to bring along one of his gunman in the case that the situation went left as well. When Mack arrived with his armed muscle in tow, he realized he’d made a smart choice considering that he immediately felt they planned to do something to him. He reiterated his previous terms with the person, who assumingly still wasn’t willing to budge in his demands after Mack admitted that there was some tension in the streets after their meeting.
“I caught a couple of threats, you know, a couple of passes by in the streets,” he said.
Mack was prepared to handle what needed to be handled, though, but had an unexpected change of heart one day as he was driving to pick his sister up with a gun in his lap.
“And I’m sitting there, and I’m talking to God like, ‘Lord, I don’t want to do this, but if it comes to getting ugly where somebody’s gonna be trying to kill me, I’m going to have to do something first or do something to prevent that from happening,’” he said.
Mack prayed for guidance, then flipped on the radio to search for a specific hip-hop station. Suddenly, he said, he landed on one station and gospel music poured from the stereo, washing overwhelmingly moving emotions over him that broke him down into tears. He said he knew that it was God talking to him, and profusely apologized for even having the thought of taking another life.
“Because it was really in my heart to kill him,” he recalled. “I was going to do it. But I knew in my conscious that it’s not the right thing you’re supposed to be doing.”
Shout-out to the late Bad Boys legend for his move of faith as we remember him in our hearts forever as one of the real ones.
See his revelatory story in the video below.
(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)