Written by Ollie Francis
Former Bad Boy Records alumni and rap veteran, Black Rob has unfortunately passed away on Saturday (April 17) in a hospital in Atlanta, GA. It is unclear as to what the cause of death is, however – Black Rob, whose real name is Robert Ross, experienced a series of health complications since 2015. This includes four strokes, dialysis treatments, and more recently – being hospitalized last week for unknown reasons.
The reports of Black Rob’s passing confirmed by close colleagues of the rapper – including Bad Boy alumni, Mark Curry, NYC promotor Van Silk and DJ Self.
Black Rob grew up in East Harlem and acquired an adoration for Hip-Hop as a youth, citing inspirations from legendary acts such as: Doug E. Fresh, Spoonie Gee, and Slick Rick. By his teenage years, he [Rob] would join a Hip-Hop group called ‘The Schizophrenics,’ under the moniker Bacardi Rob, but later disbanded from the group to pursue his music endeavors as a solo artist.
By his early 20’s in the mid 1990’s, Black Rob formed an alliance with Bad Boy Records, and would appear on several releases, including Total’s “What About Us (Remix),” Faith Evans “Love Like This,” and “24 Hours to Live,” with Ma$e. Rob would continuously work at being proficient as a lyricist.
It would not be until the year 2000 when Black Rob made his solo debut with his biggest hit single to date, Woah. The violin induced, heavy base record (produced by Buckwild) soared onto the Billboard charts, landing at number 43 on Billboard top 100 and peeked at 10 on Billboard R&B and Hip-Hop charts. Woah would be Black Rob’s only chart-topping single to date. His debut album ‘Life Story,’ would garner success as it reached platinum sales.
[Did You Know: “Woah,” sampled Francois Valery’s instrumental to his record, “Joy and Joan .”
Black Rob would continue to pursue his music endeavors, parting ways from Bad Boy by 2010 and went independent. His third album, “Game Tested, Streets Approved,” peeked at number 44 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. He would later construct his own independent label, “Box and One,” with co-founder Jeff Mosley.
By 2013, alongside Ed Lover, Calvin Richardson, David Chance (1/2 Ruff Endz), Jeff Sanders, Hoarce Brown, Jemal Mosley, and Mr. Cheekz would appear on a reality segment called, “Come Back Kings,” which overviews the trials and reclaim back to stardom.
One fact about Black Rob, he remained consistent in his craft despite his health concerns. He would perform around the country, write, and produce music – even during his tribulations facing him. His work ethics was remarkable, and the world was blessed to bear witness to his talents.
Black Rob is survived by his four children and other extended family members. Fellow musical colleagues shared their condolences on social media.
Our condolences at MusicXClusives are sent to Black Rob’s Family. Check out some of his music videos and interviews after the jump: