Rap audiences can be a fickle lot. In 1994, Craig Mack
was riding high on the success of his debut album, Project: Funk da World
, and a hit single, "Flava in Ya Ear." Three years later, his Operation: Get Down
follow-up would have more appropriately titled Operation: Fell Off. So what happened? Two things: First, Mack
was backed by a rising Sean "Puffy" Combs
on his debut, a relationship that was strained by the meteoric rise of the Notorious B.I.G.
-- who incidentally had his debut on the ear-popping remix of "Flava in Ya Ear." Second, three years is a looong time in the pop world. If Operation: Get Down
had appeared sooner, it's possible that "Drugs, Guns and Thugs" could have broken out as a single and Mack
would never have had to write "Jockin' My Style" -- a song attacking all the MCs who had taken on his style during the long absence.