Robert Ross, the rapper often called Black Rob, whose husky, seen-it-all voice powered turn-of-the-millennium hits like “Whoa!” and “Can I Stay” for Dangerous Boy Information, died on Saturday at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He was 52.
The trigger was cardiac arrest, stated Mark Curry, a buddy and one-time Dangerous Boy artist, who added that Mr. Ross had quite a few well being points in recent times, together with diabetes, lupus, kidney failure and a number of strokes.
Mr. Ross had been present process dialysis and was discharged from Piedmont Atlanta Hospital this month, Mr. Curry stated. In a video that was posted online and spread across the hip-hop world, Mr. Ross detailed his ailments and up to date struggles with homelessness.
“He didn’t have a house, however he all the time had us,” stated Mr. Curry, who referred to as Mr. Ross “a real poet.” He added: “He’s identified for telling tales and his music described his life. You possibly can really feel it.”
Final week, Mr. Curry, together with the producer Mike Zombie, started selling a GoFundMe campaign to lift cash for Mr. Ross — “to assist him discover a residence, pay for medical assist and stability throughout these attempting instances,” the marketing campaign’s description stated. The fund-raiser collected about half of its $50,000 aim.
Mr. Ross, who was born in Harlem, N.Y., started rapping across the age of 11, influenced by native artists like Slick Rick and Doug E. Contemporary, whom he credited for serving to to develop his storytelling prowess. He additionally internalized the essence of his musically ascendant neighborhood, citing its “pick-me-up kinda sound.”
“It’s like, ‘Oh, it’s bought a bit of taste, I may dance to this’ — you’re gonna speak about a bit of bit of cash, a bit of bit of medication,” Mr. Ross stated in a 2013 interview. “We had been the flashiest.”
Greatest identified for the hard-hitting 2000 single “Whoa!”, which reached No. 43 on the Billboard Scorching 100, and a string of electrical visitor verses on songs by Mase, 112 and Whole, Mr. Ross may sound each motivated and weathered whilst a younger man.
Thrust into extra of a number one position after the homicide of his Dangerous Boy label mate, the Infamous B.I.G., in March 1997, the rapper turned one other fast-burning star below the imprimatur of the budding hip-hop mogul Sean Combs, higher often called Diddy, by the tip of the 1990s.
Mr. Ross’s debut album, the fittingly named “Life Story,” was launched by Dangerous Boy in 2000, when he was 31. Already, he had spent greater than a decade of his life out and in of juvenile detention, jail and jail, and the music mirrored that.
“It’s hell,” the rapper said at the time of his previous. “As soon as they get their tooth on you, they maintain biting, till they really feel like, ‘Let’s throw away the important thing on this cat.’”
“Life Story” featured intricate avenue tales of stickups, shootouts and the household struggles that might result in such issues, and it reached No. three on the Billboard album chart, ultimately turning into platinum.
5 years later, “The Black Rob Report,” the rapper’s second album, failed to seek out the identical success, partially as a result of Mr. Ross was back in prison, having did not report back to sentencing for a 2004 larceny cost. His profession by no means recovered.
“Dangerous Boy left me for lifeless,” Mr. Ross said upon his release from jail in 2010. Two subsequent unbiased releases on completely different labels foundered.
Mr. Ross is survived by his mom, Cynthia; 4 siblings; 9 kids; and 5 grandchildren.
Many individuals on social media supplied condolences for Mr. Ross, together with Diddy, the entrepreneur Daymond John and the rappers Missy Elliott, L.L. Cool J, GZA and Kinds P.
On Twitter, L.L. Cool J described Mr. Ross as a storyteller, gentleman and an M.C.
Ms. Elliott lamented that the loss of life of Mr. Ross carefully adopted that of one other New York rapper, Earl Simmons, known as DMX, who died this month.
“It’s onerous discovering the phrases to say when somebody passes away,” Ms. Elliott said on Twitter. “I’m Praying for each of their households for therapeutic.”