March 07, 2015

Black Rob "Life's Story" (Vibe, June 1999)

"Black Rob's debut, Life Story, is a grimy adventure that'll probably make him a feared man in corporate America, but revered in the hip hop world. He's incredibly adept at constructing graphic, autobiographical episodes and intricate tales. With his adamantine gaze, raspy-voice, and stormy aura, Black Rob is the closest thing to the late, great Notorious B.I.G. Replete with fluid production from the Hitmen, Life Story is an emotional ride full of hardship and pain, especially the haunting title track, on which Rob recalls growing up with an alcoholic mother. He seeks to avenge a friend's murder on the thunderous "Lookin' At Us," featuring Cee-Lo, and dreams of a better life on the intense "Can I Live," featuring the Lox. And the rowdy hit single "I Dare You," which first appeared on the 1998 soundtrack for the movie Slam (Immortal/Epic), sounds just as good on the hundredth listen as it did on the first. However, Life Story does have its occasional detractions, like Puffy's irritating ad-libs on "Make It Hot" and Puffs wanna-be rough rhymes on "Down The Line." Also, "Spanish Fly" is a little too light and fluffy to suit Rob's hardcore style. But that doesn't change the fact that although the album gets down and dirty, Life Story is a breath of fresh air." - Vibe, 6/99.

If you'd like a copy of the full Vibe review, check below...