Black Rob

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Black Rob
Birth nameRobert Ross
Also known as
  • Rob Marciano
  • Robbie O
  • Blanco Pop
Born(1968-06-08)June 8, 1968
Buffalo, New York, U.S.[1]
DiedApril 17, 2021(2021-04-17) (aged 52)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
GenresHip hop
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
Years active1989–2021

Robert Ross (June 8, 1968[2] – April 17, 2021), known professionally as Black Rob, was an American rapper who was signed to Bad Boy Records. He was best known for his 1999 single "Whoa!", which peaked at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] He spent four years in prison in connection with a hotel robbery in 2004.[4]

Music career[edit]

Ross grew up in East Harlem and began rapping between the ages of 11 and 12.[5] He was inspired by the artists he listened to regularly, including Spoonie Gee, Doug E. Fresh, and Slick Rick.[6] 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".[5]

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.[7]

In his earlier years, Black Rob headed the street rap team which he named "Alumni". His debut album Life Story[8] was released in 1999 and rose above platinum sales. 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[3] on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top 10 on both the R&B/Hip-Hop[9] and Rap[10] charts. It was Rob's only solo single to reach the Hot 100.[11] Black Rob's verse in the song "By A Stranger", was featured in the in-game radio station "Game Radio" from Grand Theft Auto III.[12]

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 (2005) failed to perform as strongly as his debut and quickly fell off the Billboard 100 charts. 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.[13] 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 in One, with Jemal Mosley.[14]

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.[15][16][17] In 2014, he appeared on the song "Take 'Em Off Da Map" on Diamond D's album, The Diam Piece. In 2015, Black Rob released his fourth studio album, Genuine Article[18] on Slimstyle Records, which he produced with Jemal Mosley. Guest emcees 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.[19]

Legal issues[edit]

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.[20] He was released from prison in May 2010, and was interviewed by BET two hours later.[21]

Later life and death[edit]

During his life Black Rob struggled with homelessness and health issues. A GoFundMe page was created to help him "find a home" and "pay for medical help". Over his last five years of life, he suffered four strokes.[22] On April 17, 2021, Black Rob died of cardiac arrest, at age 52.[23][24][25]


Studio albums


  1. ^ Jiménez, Jesus; Coscarelli, Joe (April 18, 2021). "Black Rob, Rapper Known for His Hit Single 'Whoa!,' Dies at 52". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  2. ^ Bosselman, Haley (April 17, 2021). "Black Rob, Rapper and Former Bad Boy Artist, Dies at 52". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Black Rob Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 16, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "Rapper Black Rob, known for hit 'Whoa!,' dead at 52". April 19, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Black Rob, The Unkut Mini Interview, Part One". February 28, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "Black Rob, The Unkut Mini Interview, Part Two". April 13, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  7. ^ "Black Rob, Bad Boy Records Rapper Behind "Whoa!," Dies at 52". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ "Black Rob Addresses Diddy, G-Dep, Sean Price & NY Rap In AMA". January 21, 2014.
  9. ^ "Black Rob Chart History: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  10. ^ "Black Rob Chart History: Hot Rap Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  11. ^ "What Was Rapper Black Rob's Net Worth at the Time of His Death?".
  12. ^ Grand Theft Auto III - Game FM (No Commercials), archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 16, 2021
  13. ^ Black Rob Ducks Down From Bad Boy Records
  14. ^ "Interview with Black Rob".
  15. ^ "Come Back Kings". Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  16. ^ "Come Back Kings". Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  17. ^ "Come Back Kings". Facebook. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  18. ^ "Twitter / TheRealBlackRob: Official Notice: my new album". Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  19. ^ "Black Rob: Genuine Article". The Real Hip-Hop.
  20. ^ "Black Rob Sentenced to Jail for Robbery". Billboard. April 3, 2006. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  21. ^ "Black Rob Released From Prison, No Longer Signed To Bad Boy Records". Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  22. ^ Iasimone, Ashley (April 18, 2021). "Black Rob, Former Bad Boy Rapper, Dies at 52". Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  23. ^ "Rapper Black Rob, best known for hit song 'Whoa!,' dead at 52 - Los Angeles Times".
  24. ^ "Black Rob, Rapper Formerly of Bad Boy Records, Has Died at 52". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  25. ^ Thorpe, Isha (April 17, 2021). "Black Rob passes away". REVOLT. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  26. ^ "Black Rob: Life Story". AV Club.
  27. ^ "Happy 20th Anniversary of Black Rob's Album "Life Story"".
  28. ^ "Black Rob - The Black Rob Report".
  29. ^ "Black Rob Reveals Tracklist, Cover For "Game Tested, Street Approved".
  30. ^ "Stream Black Rob's New Album "Genuine Article"". Baller Status.
  31. ^ "Black Rob Had a Stroke". April 8, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2019.

External links[edit]