Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)” is easily one of rap’s most revered records in any context: posse cut or overall dopeness. Released in 1994 as a booster for Mack’s solo single, its success raised the public awareness of both The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes, sustained LL Cool J’s presence as an undeniable MC as his movie career picked up and introduced the masses to Rampage a.k.a. The Last Boy Scout.
While it may be widely assumed that his appearance on the track came as a nepotistic favor for his cousin and former Flipmode Squad leader, Busta Rhymes, Rampage actually says that it was Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy) who coaxed him to be on the track.
“‘Flava in Ya Ear Remix’ is a classic with me, Craig Mack, Biggie Smalls, Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J and Easy Mo Bee was the producer,” Rampage told the Murder Master Music Show before adding the record was “the best all-time classic remix of all times.”
Another interesting tidbit for Hip Hop nostalgia fiends is the collective predominately recorded the song together in the studio.
“We was all in the studio, same time,” he recalled. “Actually Biggie laid his verse first and I was in the studio with me, Puff, Mo Bee, Busta and LL. We were all in the same studio so the vibe in the studio was good. But I wasn’t supposed to be on the record. I just came up there to support Bus and then Puff was like ‘What? You ain’t gonna be on it?” and I’m like, ‘Man? Give me a minute!’ So I just went into my files real fast, heard the beat, went in there and two weeks later, I was on the video! That’s how that happened.
“But actually Craig Mack called me and was asking me, ‘Yo, man. Would you jump on the record?’ and I was going through something at the time and I had told him no. And then Bus was like, ‘Yo, man. I think you need to really take the opportunity and jump on this record, for real, for real. And if you ain’t gonna be on the record, just come with me to the studio. And when I went to the studio, Puff was looking at me like, ‘What? You ain’t getting on this? C’mon bro. You gotta put a verse on this!'”
And the rest, they say, is history. The original version reached the top spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart (now known as Hot Rap Songs) and was nominated for a Best Rap Solo Performance at the 37th Grammy Awards in 1995 (Queen Latifah’s “U.N.I.T.Y.” took it).
Listen to the full interview below where Rampage also relives how he had to go the extra mile to prove himself to Diddy and director Hype Williams at the shoot for the “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)” music video.
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