Rainy Season - Black Rob
Welcome back to the Draft Pick Mix Show.
Last year Hip Hop lost 3 heavyweights, all within the month of April. Each artist brought a unique energy and contribution to the Culture.
I thought I was discovering Black Rob early when I first heard his name on Westwood. It would’ve been on ‘I Dare You’, but chances are that I’d heard him before as, I later came to realise, he had been around in the game for a while. I hadn’t forgiven Puffy for turning Biggie into a pop star, so I listened cautiously to his verses with the Lox and on freestyles.
Nah, I couldn’t find a fault, so I gave him a chance, bought his album when it came out on Bad Boy. Verdict? Very good!! Hard lyrics, braggadociage galore, healthy beats…good shit. Around that time, I started to get more into the underground Hip Hop scene, then the UK scene so I turned my back on that type of Hip Hop. That is until, I went vinyl shopping in Fat Beats and DJ Edzon decided to play me the ‘Bad Boy 4 Life’ record.
If you were into underground Hip Hop at that time, you’d immediately recognize that the beat was an underground styled, broken beat styled, almost Dillaesque effort. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Then Black Rob did his verse and I recognised the dog whistle, he was saying no one is safe anywhere in Hip Hop, even in the underground. I rated him immensely for that! It was a brilliant track despite Puffy’s best effort to bring the tone down with the worst rap lyric of all time ‘I don’t write lyrics, I write checks’…. blasphemous.
From then till his final day, I honestly can’t remember him doing a verse that was weak. He was a talented, well-respected lyricist who could do the grimy street shit as well as make you sit back and think, with some of his metaphors. One thing Puffy was good at was spotting talent.
I’ve delved into his catalogue and tried to pick out some gems that will illustrate how talented Black Rob was, rest in peace.