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Rapper Robert Ross, known professionally as “Black Rob,” passed away from cardiac arrest in Atlanta, Ga., on April 17, 2021, at 52.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Black Rob grew up in East Harlem, where he began rapping as a preteen. He was formerly part of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy label. He joined the label in the mid-1990s. Black Rob released his debut album “Life Story” in 1999, which later went platinum and reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200. His popular 2000 single “Whoa!” peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 100.
His former label mate, and friend Mark Curry, announced Rob’s death in two Instagram videos posted on Saturday. In the heartwrenching now-deleted first video, Curry is seen visibly distraught, tearfully saying, “I don’t know where to begin this, but I thank everybody for the donations. Rob passed away about an hour ago.” In the second video, Curry says, “Rest in peace to my brother. I was there with him. I was there with him.”
Earlier this month, fans learned of Black Rob’s health issues when DJ Self, of the Love & Hip Hop fame, posted a video on Instagram of Black Rob in pain in a hospitable bed the day after DMX passed. In the video, Black Rob shared his condolences on DMX’s passing, stating, “I feel everything about X. X was positive. Love to X.”
DJ Self later posted that Black Rob was out of the hospital and his kidneys were failing again. Black Rob had been in ailing health and suffered from diabetes, lupus, had four strokes over the past five years, was on dialysis, and living in immense pain. Curry later posted a GoFundMe to aid in finding a home for his friend and paying for his medical bills. The page currently has a little over 1,000 donors and has raised $30,000 of its $50,000 goal.
Written by Ebonee Stevenson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Complex: Black Rob Has Passed Away at 51; by Ytara C. Mahadevan
Billboard: Black Rob, Former Bad Boy Rapper, Dies at 52; by Ashley Iasimone
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Richard Masoner’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Schmiebel Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License