Tributes Light Up Social Media for Former Bad Boy Rapper Black Rob, Dead at 51
The music world is in mourning again, this time reflecting on the life of Black Rob.
The music world is in mourning again, this time reflecting on the life of Black Rob. The rapper died at the age of 51. His death was confirmed by his former labelmate, Mark Curry, who announced it in a tearful video posted to his Instagram page Saturday.
“Rob passed away about an hour ago. I need for his daughter, Iona Ross, little Robert Ross, y’all get in touch with me. Please,” Curry pleaded.
Both Curry and Black Rob, whose real name was Robert Ross, were signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records. Black Rob had a string of hits in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. Perhaps his best known single was “Whoa,” which charted at #43 on the Billboard 100 in 2000.
A pair of videos of Rob in an Atlanta area hospital bed began circulating on social media last week. DJ Self, a personality on New York’s Power 105.1, posted the clips, where Rob appeared to be struggling to get the words out about his feelings regarding the rapper DMX, who died on April 9 at the age of 50 after suffering a massive heart attack.
In another video DJ Self shared just days before his death, Rob revealed some heartbreaking information.
“I’ve been dealing with this for five years. Man. Four strokes,” Black Rob began. “I don’t got no house to live in,” he shared. “I need some rest man. I need some rest.”
A week ago, Curry and producer Mark Zombie started a GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses and find Rob housing. It reached about $30,000 of its $50,000 goal.
Black Rob’s exact cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Tributes are lighting up social media, many pointing out how tough it has been to lose both DMX and Black Rob, whose music helped shape an era, so close together.
On Twitter, Missy Elliot lamented, “It’s hard finding the words to say when someone passes away... It’s been tough from X to now Black Rob. I am Praying for both of their families for healing.”
LL Cool J tweeted, “Black Rob. A story teller. An MC. a gentleman every time I saw him. Rest in power my brother.”
Rapper Cormega wrote, “Black Rob had a clean heart in a dirty game. I’m hurting I wish I got to speak to him one last time at least. Don’t tell the world how much you care about a person tell the person how much you care about them while they are accepting what the world has to offer.”
Biz Markie tweeted, “RIP Black Rob, one of the great millennium-era crime rap novelists, gruff but with Harlem slickness, who endured fire & brimstone to briefly reach the apex, before gravity and the law took hold. Of course, ‘Whoa,’ which owned the world for a full year, the platonic tunnel banger.”
According to the New York Times, Black Rob is survived by his mother, four siblings, nine children and five grandchildren.
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