NEW YORK (AP) – Rapper Black Rob, known for his hit “Whoa!” and key contributions to Diddy’s dominant Bad Boy Records in the 1990s and early 2000s, has died. He was 52 years old.
Black Rob died Saturday in Atlanta, according to an old friend and former labelmate Mark Curry, who said he was ultimately holding the hip-hop artist’s hand. He was hospitalized and suffered from multiple health problems in recent years and died of cardiac arrest, Curry said.
“Rest in power, King,” Diddy wrote on Instagram. “You have made millions of people around the world feel good and dance!”
Born Robert Ross and raised in Harlem, New York, Black Rob began rapping even before he was a teenager. After signing with Bad Boy, he made surprising guest appearances alongside his labelmates in the 1990s and early 2000s, including Diddy’s “Bad Boy for Life” and remixes of Total’s “What About Us.” “Come See Me” from 112.
He did a 13-bar revenge story on the 1998 posse cut “24 Hrs. to Live ”alongside DMX, which died earlier this month.
Her debut album “Life Story”, released in 2000, peaked at # 3 on the Billboard charts and went platinum, led by the infectious single “Whoa!”
”’Whoa!’ It took us through an important moment in our time in hip-hop, ”said Curry. “He always felt like he was wearing the label on his back.”
His second album, “The Black Rob Report”, was his last with Bad Boy, and his career stalled due to legal problems. He served four years in prison in connection with a 2004 hotel robbery.
Curry said Diddy had helped Black Rob financially over the years and was paying for the rapper’s funeral.