September 20, 2021

Craig Mack "Project Funk Da World" (Sept. 20, 1994)

The debut set by rapper Craig Mack, "Project Funk Da World," has the added distinction of being the first album released on Arista distributed Bad Boy Entertainment. Bad Boy president Sean "Puffy" Combs, who, like Mack, is just 23, says this distinction should not put any extra pressure on Mack. "[There is] pressure on any new artist because of the competitive nature of this business," says Combs. "We're just going to work real hard and do what we have to to break Craig." Developing a strong street presence will be crucial, according to Michelle Joyce, Bad Boy's director of marketing.... The label will distribute flyers and posters and begin a snipe campaign, first on the East Coast and then nationally. "Flavor In Your Ear," the first single, with the B side album cut "Shinika," went to urban radio June 21. A late-June mailing of a CD promo, containing three "Flavor" remixes, was aimed at selected mix-show technicians. Combs, a former VP of A&R at Uptown Records, says he hopes "there will be a place at urban radio [for Mack]." The "Flavor In Your Ear" videoclip has been serviced to BET's "Rap City" show and several other national video outlets. Joyce says "Yo! MTV Raps" will be targeted soon. Mack says his interest in music was sparked by watching his DJ neighbor as a boy in the Long Island town of Brentwood, N.Y. Regarding his own musical vibe, he says, "Because I love the funk sound and grew up with it, I put a lot of it in my work." Cont'd below...

"Project Funk Da World" includes its share of boasts about Mack's MC skills. The album's sparse, mind-altering foundation of beats is topped with thick chunks of funk. Although other Long Island rappers such as Public Enemy, De La Soul, and Leaders of the New School fueled Mack's passion for hip-hop, it was Brentwood homies Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith (formerly the rap duo EPMD) who offered up-close exposure to hip-hop by giving Mack a job with their touring crew. Encouraged by Sermon and Smith, Mack recorded a two-song demo. Those tracks, "You Can't Funk With The Style" and "Like That Y'all," wound up on his album. Combs says the Mack project will be promoted via "grimy, guerilla street marketing." This will include product exposure in high schools, at college parties, barber shops, beauty parlors--"wherever a turntable is available," he says, adding that the release will be available on vinyl. Marketing the album, Combs adds, is like constructing a building. "We've got to start with the first floor, which is the urban kids." Joyce says Bad Boy plans to release a second track and video before the album hits stores to ensure a higher degree of artist awareness. A July promotional tour to acquaint Mack with radio, retail, college, and grass-roots outlets has focused on Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, with other markets to be added later. - Billboard (July 16, 1994). Rest In Peace, Craig Mack! Revisit Mack's Project Funk Da World LP!