November 08, 2014

Black Rob "Next" Feature In Vibe Magazine (November, 1998)

"Decked out, appropriately, in a black T-shirt, shorts, and a baseball cap, Bad Boy Entertainment's next ghetto superstar is all raw energy, elbows, and enthusiasm - first practicing lyrics in a head-bobbing cipher with Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s Lil Cease and Hitmen producer Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie. "Yo, I say the sick shit," a calmer Black Rob (aka Rob Ross) says later in hushed tones, sinking into a studio lounge couch. "The way I talk on the mike is the way I talk when I'm face-to-face with you. Ain't nothin' watered down. I don't talk about Rolexes, minks, or Cristal 'cause I don't have that." What the twentysomething East Harlemite does have is a compelling affinity for urban narratives, most of them based on his own experiences as a self-confessed street extortionist who's "done bids since age twelve." Last year, his sandpapery vocals garnered widespread attention on Puff Daddy's spellbinding yarn "I Love You Baby" and Mase's recent posse cut "24 Hrs. To Live." (Updated) Cont'd...

"But unpretentiously vivid Life Story tracks like the vengeful, guitar-tinged "Muscle Game" and the potent first single, "I Dare You" - which is also featured on the upcoming Slam soundtrack (Epic) - signal a direct contrast to Bad Boy's signature Dolce dreams and Bentley wishes. Having already patiently waited three years as a Bad Boy signee for his chance in the rhymelight, Rob now sees his arrival as part of a well-executed larger plan. "Puff always had me on the back burner," he analyzes. "But being that all these hardcore n!ggas is comin' out now, I see that it's time for me to blast off. You don't bring a motherf#ckin' .38 to a gunfight. You gotta bring something more. I'm just the Bad Boy Desert Eagle." Prepare for the blitzkrieg, it's about to be on." - Chairman Mao, Vibe (11/98)