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Black Rob

Born:     July 12, 1969
Birthplace:       Buffalo, NY
Died:   April 17, 2021

Zodiac Sign:  Cancer

Career and Life

Robert Ross aka Black Rob is an American rapper who was formerly signed to Bad Boy. He is best known for the 2000 single "Whoa!", which reached the Billboard Hot 100.

Ross grew up in Harlem and began rapping between the age of 11 and 12. He was inspired by the artists he listened to regularly, including Spoonie Gee, Doug E. Fresh, and Slick Rick. When he was 22, he joined his first rap group, the Schizophrenics, though they did not release any albums. He initially rapped under the alias "Bacardi Rob".

He began associating with the Bad Boy label as early as 1996, appearing on the Bad Boy remix to 112's "Come See Me". He was then featured on several Bad Boy releases, including remixes to Total's "What About Us" (1997) and Faith Evans's "Love Like This" (1998), the song "24 Hrs. to Live" (1997) from Mase, and albums by Puff Daddy & the Bad Boy Family (1997) and The Notorious B.I.G. (1999). He also made two appearances on Cru's 1997 album Da Dirty 30, as well as albums by Ol Dirty Bastard, Channel Live, The Madd Rapper, Benzino, Tony Touch, and others. These guest appearances earned him media buzz.

In early 2000, he released the hit single "Whoa!". Produced by Diggin' in the Crates Crew member Buckwild, "Whoa!" became his biggest hit. The song peaked at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top 10 on both the R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap charts. To date, it remains Rob's only solo single to have reached the Hot 100. His album Life Story was released in 1999 and rose above platinum sales. Despite subsequently appearing on releases by P. Diddy and G. Dep, he did not make another hit single. His second album, The Black Rob Report failed to perform as strongly as his debut and quickly fell off the Billboard 100 charts. In his earlier years, Black Rob headed the street rap team which he named "Alumni". In 2005, Jemal Mosley from Off The Block Entertainment started managing Black Rob's career. In 2010, he parted from Bad Boy and signed to independent label Duck Down Records. In 2011, he released Game Tested, Streets Approved, which peaked at number 44 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

Black Rob also started his own independent label, Box and One, with Jemal Mosley.

In 2013, he joined the reality series "Come Back Kings" with Ed Lover, Calvin Richardson, David "Davinch" Chance (of Ruff Endz), Jeff Sanders, Jameio, Mr. Cheeks and Horace Brown.

In 2014, he appeared on the song "Take 'Em Off Da Map" on Diamond D's recent album, The Diam Piece.

In 2015, Black Rob released his fourth studio album, Genuine Article on Slimstyle Records, which he produced with Jemal Mosley. Guest emcees on include Sean Price, Tek, battle legend Murda Mook, and Quas Amill. Ron Browz, former Bad Boy label-mate Q. Parker (112), Kali Ranks, and Quan all sing choruses on the album. Producers include Easy Mo Bee, Coptic, Big French, and others.

Black Rob was sentenced to over seven years in prison in 2006 after failing to appear in court for his sentencing (which was set to be two to six years initially) on a charge of grand larceny from 2004, in which he pleaded guilty to criminal possession of more than US$6,000 worth of jewelry stolen in a hotel. He was released from prison in May 2010, and was interviewed by BET two hours later.

Sometime in late 2014/early 2015, Ross suffered a mild stroke, likely due to high blood pressure. He has since recovered, and in April 2015, said he was feeling better after adopting a healthier lifestyle, in which he gave up drinking and began eating better. "I had to change my health regimen and how I eat. That's it. I'm exercising and trying to keep it up," said Rob. "I don't drink no more." He is the father of three children, Rianna, Diamond, and Million.

On April 17, 2021, it was announced that Black Rob had died at the age of 52 due to kidney failure.


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