A close friend of late hip hop star Craig Mack says that he knew for months that he was dying from congestive heart failure.
Erick Sermon says that his pal was aware of his health issues, and had contacted his close friends to let them know.
In a video posted by TMZ , Erick says: "Craig Mack called us about six months ago and told us that he was real sick and that he might be dying soon, so he called all his friends that he went to school with."
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Craig knew he was dying, according to his friend
Erick says only 25 per cent of his friend’s heart was functioning
(Image: Getty Images North America)
He adds: "We kind of knew what was going on. He only had 25 per cent of his heart that he was using and when you would talk to him on the phone he would kind of daze off for 10 minutes at a time to catch his breath sometimes and then he would come back to the phone, so this is not a surprise to us, we knew he was dying."
The hip hop world was rocked when it was revealed that the rapper had died at the age of 46.
Mack shot to fame in the 1990s, becoming the first artist to release an album on Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records.
His Flava In Ya Ear became his biggest selling hit with The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Ryhmes featuring on the remix.
On Tuesday Mack’s death was confirmed by Alvin Toney, who produced the star’s first album Project: Funk Da World.
"God bless my friend," he said in a statement.
Here’s what we know so far about Mack’s tragic loss.
Mack was just 46 when he passed away in hospital
Craig Mack’s cause of death
The musician died of heart failure at a hospital near his home in South Carolina on Monday, reports the New York Daily Post.
According to Mack’s producer Toney the rapper had been ill for some time.
"He was prepared for whatever comes, to go to the Lord. He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared, He was ready," said his long term friend.
Toney also told the paper that Mack is survived by a wife and two adult children.
- Who is Craig Mack? Everything you need to know about the late rapper
His producer revealed Mack leaves behind a wife and two grown up children
Tributes to the star
As news of Mack’s death was announced on Tuesday, Hip-hop artists took to social media to pay their respects to the rapper.
"I got a disturbing phone call. I can’t believe this dude is gone," said DJ Scratch.
"He just reached out a couple of weeks ago for me to speak on his documentary about his life.
"Craig was my roadie on tour. He would set up & break down my turntables every night… Rest In Peace Lil Bro."
While Funkmaster shared a photo of Mack alongside one time collorator The Notorious B.I.G.
Rapper Biz Markie posted: "R.I.P TO MY MAIN MAN CRAIG MACK ANOTHER GREAT ONE GONE."
- Craig Mack dead: Hip hop legends pay tribute after Flava In Ya Ear rapper dies at the age of 46
Mack was the first artist to release an album on Bad Boy records
(Image: Michael Ochs Archives)
After being scouted performing as a freestyle MC at a nightclub, Mack was signed to Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records label in the 1990s, and released his first single under the name MC EZ in 1998.
But 1994 hit Flava In Ya Ear, which was released under his real name, became his most commercially successful.
Mack’s debut album Project: Funk da World was released on Puff Daddy’s record label and reached number 21 in the US charts.
His second album Operation: Get Down failed to live up to the same success and peaked at number 46 in 1997.