Tributes are being paid to former Bad Boy Records rapper Black Rob, who has died aged 51.
The rapper’s death was confirmed by several of his friends and former collaborators including rapper Mark Curry, who revealed Rob had passed away in a video on social media, and singer-songwriter and producer Mario Winans.
“This hit my heart……. we will NEVER forget you brother! RIP BLACK ROB!” Winans wrote in an Instagram post earlier this evening (April 17). His exact cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Last week, a video surfaced that showed Rob (real name Robert Ross) lying down in a hospital bed, saying he was suffering from “crazy pain”.
In the same clip he was asked about how he felt about rap legend DMX, who died last week (April 9), to which Rob said he had “big love” for the Ruff Ryders rapper.
In the days that followed, Rob revealed in another video, shared by DJ Self, that he was homeless and battling health issues including kidney failure, which DJ Self confirmed.
“Oh man, I’ve been dealing with this for five years. Four strokes … I don’t know what to tell you man. Shit is crazy. The shit is hard,” he admitted. “I don’t got no house to live in — except maybe an apartment. Me and my man be trying to get together. I’m telling you man, this shit is strange. It’s hard, you know what I’m saying?”
Born on July 12, 1969, Rob began his career using the moniker Bacardi Rob. He started out as part of rap group the Schizophrenics, alongside Alto and Godzilla, before joining Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records in the mid-1990s.
He appeared on tracks such as the remix of 112’s ‘Come See Me’, Ma$e‘s ’24 Hrs. To Live’, Total’s ‘What About Us’, and Diddy’s (fka Puff Daddy) ‘I Love You Baby’, before delivering the hip-hop anthem ‘Whoa!’ in 2000.
That same year he released his debut album, ‘Life Story’, which in addition to ‘Whoa!’ and ‘I Love You Baby’ also featured ‘Spanish Fly’, his collaboration with Jennifer Lopez. The album was certified platinum by the RIAA.
He released his second album, ‘The Black Rob Report’, in 2005, followed by the albums ‘Game Tested, Streets Approved’ (2011) and ‘Genuine Article’ (2015).
Tributes have begun to pour in for Black Rob. “RIP to one of Bad Boy’s finest, storyteller supreme, Black Rob,” Skyzoo said on Twitter.
A-Trak wrote: “Damn, RIP Black Rob. Shit is too much,” while Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg tweeted: “Rest In Peace Black Rob … obviously the iconic hit is ‘whoa’ but for me it’s always gonna be about ‘I love you baby’ off the puff daddy and the family album.”
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