Black Rob, the rapper associated with Bad Boy Records and behind the hit single “Whoa!,” has passed away. He’s 52 years old.
He died of cardiac arrest on Saturday in Atlanta, his friend and former colleague of Bad Boy, Mark Curry said on social media. Curry said the hip-hop star has suffered from a range of health problems for a number of years, including lupus, kidney failure, diabetes and multiple strokes.
“Rest in peace King @therealblackrob!” Bad Boy founder Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs wrote on Instagram on Sunday under a photo of himself and Black Rob. “When I listen to your recordings today, there is one thing in common that they all have! You have made millions of people around the world feel happy and danced! You are one of a kind! GOD SUPPORT! Love and cherish. You will really be missed!!!”
Born Robert Ross and raised in Spanish Harlem, New York City, Black Rob began rapping at an early age. He is a member of the unknown group Schizophrenics, rapping under the name Bacardi Rob. In the early 1990s, the hoarse performer had become famous in the underworld, and he became one of the first to sign to New York’s Bad Boy Records, joining the upstart label as was a solo artist in the mid-1990s. Bad Boy founder Diddy changed his name to Black Rob and his early recording career featured several prominent guest spots on remixes for The label’s artist roster includes 112, Faith Evans and Total. He also appeared on Mase’s Harlem World album on the track “24 Hrs. to Live” a song that also features DMX, who passed away earlier this month.
Black Rob’s importance to Bad Boy, especially after Biggie Smalls’ death in 1997, is illustrated by his appearance on the cover of Diddy’s first album. No way out, along with other key label artists. He also performed on the song “I Love You, Baby” on the album and there is a mention in the song “Victory” with Biggie rapping, “Black Rob joined the crowd, that’s irreplaceable he.”
He released his debut album, autobiography Life stories, in 2000, peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts and will go platinum. This record represents his biggest chart hit as “Whoa!,” a track produced by Diggin’ on Buckwild member Crates Crew. The catchy song, whose every line ends with the word “like whoa,” peaked at number 43 on the Billboard Top 100.
In 2001, Black Rob, Curry and Diddy had a club hit with “Bad Boy for Life”, from the latter’s third album. Saga continues… The song Megahertz peaked at number 33 on the Billboard singles chart. He also featured on the album track “Let’s Get It.”
His second album, Black Rob’s Report, was released in 2005 and will be his last work with Bad Boy. Although the album received some positive press, it peaked at number 40 and was considered a disappointment. By the mid-2000s, Black Rob’s musical career was overshadowed by the rapper’s legal troubles. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2006, in connection with a hotel robbery since 2004, and has served four years.
Released from prison in 2010, Black Rob’s last major label release came the following year, with Tested the game, browsed the street but the album did not achieve sales or critical acclaim. His last album, 2015 Genuine itemwas released independently.
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