Hip Hop lost another great emcee Saturday. It’s been just over a week since Black Rob was seen expressing his condolences for the passing of rap icon DMX from his hospital bed in Atlanta, Ga., in an Instagram video posted by New York City radio host DJ Self. Now, the Hip Hop community is morning the “Woah!” emcee’s death while celebrating his contributions to the culture.
Black Rob was born Robert Ross on July 12, 1969, in Buffalo, N.Y. The former Bad Boy rapper grew up in East Harlem “where he began rapping as a preteen,” according to Variety. Rob is best known for his hit single “Whoa!” from his 2000 debut album “Life Story.” The 51-year-old left Bad Boy in the mid-2000s, but he joined label owner Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and other current and former Bad Boy artists for a reunion tour in 2016.
Rob’s death was first announced by another former Bad Boy rapper, Mark Curry, who said through tears Saturday that “Rob passed away about an hour ago,” after thanking people who donated to his GoFundMe page.
In a second video, Curry said that he was with the rapper when he died. “Rest in peace to my brother. I was there with him. I was there with him,” Curry said.
“Puff, I ain’t talked to Puff in 15 years — we talked today,” Curry continued, referring to Combs. “This is the beginning of a new us. Rob made sure he knew what he had to do before he parted this world to make sure we all alright, and that’s what he did. Bad boy for life, yo.”
Rob’s cause of death still hasn’t been announced, but, according to TMZ, he had been “battling kidney failure for some time.” In another Instagram video posted by DJ Self, Rob is heard speaking on health problems, including four strokes, that he had been dealing with for the last five years.
“Lord knows I tried to get help ...... I’m sad to say RIP to Black Rob,” DJ Self wrote in a separate post.
Of course, fellow Hip Hop greats like Q Tip, LL Cool J, GZA and Pharoahe Monch took to Twitter to pay their respects.
Rest well, Black Rob. Everything you did for Hip Hop was “like Woah!”