Craig Mack's Cause of Death Was Related to Heart Complications, Erick Sermon Says

"Flava In Ya Ear" rapper Craig Mack died from congestive heart failure, according to Erick Sermon. He was 46 years old.

Mack called the PND & DJ rapper six months ago, saying he was "real sick" and "might be dying soon." Mack, a New Jersey native, told several other friends about his condition, too.

"We kinda knew what was going on," Sermon told TMZ via video phone call on Tuesday. "He only had 25 percent of his heart that he was using."

Mack would often "daze off" for 10 minutes at a time "to catch his breath" while conversing with his friends. Mack started walking with a cane and got "real slim" in his final days, but still had his personality. "He was still Craig, laughing and joking sometimes," Sermon said.

Mack was in "no shape to perform," but that didn't stop the rapper from recording new music while working on a documentary about his life with Alvin Tony, the music producer who signed Mack to Sean "P. Diddy" Comb's Bad Boy Entertainment label in the early '90s. "Craig Mack wanted to get his story told," Sermon said.

Tony visited Mack at a hospital near his South Carolina residence not long before he died. "[Alvin] did two hours' worth of interviewing with Craig Mack. Craig Mack wanted to tell his story before he left," Sermon said. "He wanted to get that off his chest first before he passed away."

Tony was one of the first to confirm Mack's death to New York Daily News on Tuesday. "God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine," he said.