It has been reported that Black Rob, the rapper best known for his hit “Whoa” has died at age 52. The rapper, who was an integral part of Diddy’s Bad Boy Records in the latter 1990s and early 2000s, passed away at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. The news came from the rapper’s former labelmate and close friend, Mark Curry.
Curry expressed that Black Rob, whose given name is Robert Ross, had experienced several medical issues over the years which included diabetes, lupus, kidney failure and a number of strokes. The rapper died of cardiac arrest. Curry told The New York Times that he was on dialysis and was discharged from Piedmont Atlanta Hospital earlier this month.
Ross was born in Harlem and began rapping early in his life, at age 11. He found success when he was signed to Bad Boy Records and was featured on popular hip hop and R&B hits like Total’s “What About Us,” 112’s “Come See Me” and Diddy’s song “Bad Boy for Life,” but he is most known for his gritty hip hop anthem “Whoa” which was a single on his debut album “Life Story” which was released in 2000 going platinum of hitting No. 3 on the Billboard charts.
The New York Times writes, “Thrust into more of a leading role after the murder of his Bad Boy label mate, the Notorious B.I.G., in March 1997, Mr. Ross became, by the end of the 1990s, another fast-burning star under the imprimatur of the budding hip hop mogul Sean Combs, better known as Diddy.”
His second album, “The Black Rob Report,” was released in 2004 but Black Rob was not able to continue his short-lived string of successes due to receiving a 4-year prison sentence, causing his career to come to a halt, never recovering from the hiatus he spent in jail.
Curry also expressed that Diddy plans to pay for Black Rob’s funeral.
Ross is survived by his mother, Cynthia; four siblings; nine children; and five grandchildren.