Many will probably look at Craig Mack as a one hit wonder for the remix of “Flava In Ya Ear” featuring Notorious BIG, Rampage, LL Cool J, and Busta Rhymes, and for the most part they would be right as Mack’s popularity rapidly declined soon after. I actually prefer the original album cut of Flava in your ear which really highlighted the lyrical prowess that we all knew Craig Mack was capable of. That song has to be one of the most memorable 90’s rap classics in history. Unfortunately after being sold by that track I was disappointed with how the album turned out overall.
“the biggest irony of Craig’s short lived career at Bad Boy was the line “You Won’t Be Around Next Year….”
To me, Project Funk Da World is one of those albums that you hear many different opinions about. In my opinion most are too hasty in giving it ‘classic album status’ as I feel the album falls way short of this. To be critical of an album containing such a 90’s east coast rap anthem may seem like heresy but I can’t just love it based off one record. Looking back now it’s clear why Project Funk Da World failed to move me in a way I hoped it would. Easy Mo Bee takes care of the majority of production with a few shining moments like Get Down and Judgement Day, but it’s hard not to notice the obvious similarities between tracks as they tend to sound like regurgitation’s of Flava In Ya Ear. Craig himself delivers some decent flows but by the second half of the album it all gets a bit stale.
The fact that Biggie dropped Ready To Die only a week before didn’t help matters either, as his momentous debut delivered so much more on every level. With Biggie’s joint you had depth and versatility that kept you coming back but Project Funk Da World got old and repetitive all too quickly. I believe Craig Mack was one of Bad Boy’s better acts, but I felt Bad Boy records was the wrong fit for Craig’s style and image. Puff Daddy’s cheesie McDonalds “Big Mack” promo ads were a gimmick that should have been left well alone. Perhaps the biggest irony of Craig’s short lived career at Bad Boy was the line “You Won’t Be Around Next Year….” from the Flava In Ya Ear track.
Project Funk Da World is currently back in print at the time of writing, and the prices of second hand 1st edition copies on discogs/Amazon etc are reasonable, so if you see it go ahead and pick one up. It may not be on my all time favourites list but it still has enough rugged and raw beats to make it an enjoyable experience.