TMZ reported the news, with Rob’s fellow MCs Mark Curry and DJ Self taking to social media to back it up.
At present, the cause of death has not been released. However, it is known that he had been battling kidney failure, and had also suffered a series of strokes, going back to 2015. Recently, he was hospitalized in Atlanta, though he was subsequently discharged.
Born Robert Ross, Black Rob grew up in East Harlem, beginning to rap before reaching his teenage years. At age 22, he began performing with his first rap group, the Schizophrenics, under the stage name “Bacardi Rob.”
It was in 1996 that Rob got involved with the Bad Boy label, appearing on a remix to 112’s “Come See Me.” The rapper would remain with Bad Boy until 2010, when he exited and signed to independent label, Down Duck Records, and eventually formed his own label, Box and One, alongside Jemal Mosley.
While Black Rob featured throughout his career on albums by Cru, Ol Dirty Bastard, Channel Live, The Madd Rapper, Benzino, Tony Touch and more, many know him for his 2000 hit single, “Whoa!”, which reached number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 but made the Rap and R&B Top 10 (watch the video below). In total, he put out four studio albums, including Life Story (2000), The Black Rob Report (2005), Game Tested, Streets Approved (2011) and Genuine Article (2015).
In 2013, Rob also ventured into television with a short-lived reality series called Come Back Kings, in which he appeared opposite Ed Lover, Calvin Richardson, David “Davinch” Chance and more.
Black Rob was the father of four children, named Kayli, Rianna, Diamond, and Million.
Here is the “Whoa!” video, followed by some reactions to Black Rob’s death:
— Versey (@VerseyMusic) April 17, 2021