Complex- It’s been a difficult week for New York hip-hop. On Saturday, entertainment manager Kal Dawson confirmed that Black Rob passed away at just 51 years old.
TMZ also confirmed the news, adding that the rapper passed away in a hospital in Atlanta after a reported battle with kidney failure.
Mark Curry—rapper and collaborator of Rob and Diddy’s—also shared the news. “I don’t know where to begin this, but I thank everybody for the donations,” Curry said in a video between tears. “Rob passed away about an hour ago.” He then asked Rob’s children to get in touch with him.
Fans learned that Rob was dealing with health issues last week when the rapper shared his condolences about the passing of DMX. “I feel everything about X,” he said in an Instagram video that Dawson posted. “X was positive. Love to X.”
Earlier this week, Curry confirmed that Rob is on dialysis. A recent video from Baller Alert also shows Rob talking about his condition. “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,” Rob said. “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?”
It appears that at some point, Diddy got in touch with Rob to see how he can help. A GoFundMe campaign was also set up to help Rob “find a home, pay for medical help & stability during these trying times,” according to the description.
The Bad Boy Records rapper was born in Buffalo, New York, and grew up in East Harlem. Rob was widely known for his 2000 hit single “Whoa!” from his debut album Life Story released via Bad Boy and Arista. The song later peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 100.
RIP Black Rob.
I almost blogged about this last week when Rob got out of the hospital but didn't think it was blog-worthy.
He offered condolences to DMX's passing and mentioned the uphill battle he was facing. Having suffered a handful of strokes and kidney failure. Doing so without the financial means to pay for better treatment, or even a place to live. Really sad stuff.
Lox member Styles P took to social media to urge fellow rappers to unionize and figure out plans for when their careers wind down and the hits stop being made.
Here's a guy who had one of the biggest songs of the 2000's, and his album sales weren't too shabby either (considering people still bought albums at $18 a pop back then).
"Whoa" was an absolute banger. It still goes today.
You couldn't go to a party, a school dance, a club, or through somebody's winamp playlist without hearing "Whoa" in the early 2000s.
This was a guy who had a MONSTER record and album who then just fell off the face of the Earth like almost everybody else associated with Bad Boy Records not named Sean Combs.
I'm a Puff Daddy guy through and through, but even his biggest loyalists like myself have to admit he's been a dogshit label owner, business owner, and fellow human to the stable of artists he's signed over the 30+ year lifespan of Bad Boy Records.
Aside from himself who could you say is well off today?
Rap fans call it "The Bad Boy Curse" but I think it's just straight-up exploitation.
Craig Mack, G-Dep, Black Rob, Loon, 112, Shyne, The Lox, 8Ball and MJG, and Carl Thomas. All successful artists with break out releases only to fade into Bolivian and never be heard from again. Shelved projects, delayed projects (like when New Edition signed to Bad Boy in 96 and dropped an album 2 years later that nobody ever heard of), or stifling management deals (like the one Nicki Minaj signed to, (yes, Puff "managed" her before she came to her senses and dropped him) before she left him for Lil Wayne).
The only reason he stepped in to try to help at the last minute was because Black Rob's story went viral on social media and he didn't want to look bad. Day late and a dollar short Diddy.
Rest In Peace Black Rob.
This performance might have been the most talked-about club set of all time back in the 2000s-
p.s. - the 8 minute "Whoa" remix was one of the best white label vinyl pressings I ever found when I was young digging through crates
p.p.s. - people forget the first Bad Boy appearance J Lo had, and one of her first musical features ever for that matter, was on Rob's Life Story and "Spanish Fly". Major Jam
p.p.p.s.- never forget -