A new documentary featuring Craig Mack promises to shed light on the trailblazing rapper’s final years. In interviews filmed just weeks before his death March 12, Mack talks about the pivotal moment when he came across the controversial preacher with whom he would spend his final years.
As the New York Daily News reports, Mack first heard self-proclaimed prophet Ralph Gordon Stair preaching on the radio in 2011. Sitting alone with a gun in his lap, Mack said that he was contemplating killing someone at the time.
“I had a gun in my lap and I’m sitting there talking to God, saying like, ‘I don’t want to do this, but if it comes to getting ugly with somebody going to try to kill me, I’m going to have to do something first to prevent that,’” Mack said in the footage.
Mack said he flipped through his AM radio, trying to find a hip-hop channel he loved, when he came across a station where Stair was preaching.
“I knew that it was God talking to me because of the way it made me feel emotionally,” Mack said. “I broke down crying all over the place in the car: ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry I was thinking about trying to do this to somebody.’”
It’s not revealed who Mack was trying to kill or why. Friend and former producer Alvin Toney declined to tell the Daily News who the person was, saying only that the conflict was set off by “emotional things” involving Mack’s family.
But that moment prompted Mack to seek out Stair, and eventually, the “Flava in Ya Ear” rapper moved down to Walterboro, S.C., to join Stair’s church, Overcomer Ministry. He told only a handful of friends and family about the move—which the world would find out about in 2012, when Mack denounced his previous life of “wickedness.”
The church, which has been referred to as a cult by former parishioners, originally seemed innocent enough to Toney, though he said he became progressively alarmed with the preacher’s apocalyptic sermons, the Daily News reports. Mack spent the last seven years of his life in South Carolina.
It wasn’t until Toney, who’s producing the documentary project, reviewed footage of Mack’s interviews that he came to terms with the effect the church was having on his friend.
“I’m angry because there’s ways he could have went about giving himself to God,” Toney told the paper. “I don’t think that was the right place for him because I knew how good his heart was and I think they played on his good heart.”
He said he knew Mack was “all in” when Toney confronted the rap icon about sexual-misconduct claims—including rape and child molestation—launched against Stair. The exchange also appears in the documentary.
“Your preacher just got arrested ... for having sex with a 12-year-old. How do you take that?” Toney asked Mack.
“He said, ‘I will forgive him because we forgave the people that killed Jesus,’” Toney said.
Mack’s memorial service took place Wednesday afternoon at the Faith Baptist Church in Hempstead, Long Island, in New York. He died at age 46 from heart failure.
The documentary featuring Mack’s final interview will also include other pioneering Long Island rappers Biz Markie and EPMD’s Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith.