"Hear my name in these streets it's like WHOA! Must I pound the concrete like WHOA!"
It's impossible to walk the streets without hearing the phrase "like WHOA!" being pumped from a ride or uttered out of the mouths of young street cats.
This phrase is spreading throughout the hip-hop community faster than the
Ebola virus. Who do we have to blame for this deadly injection? None other
than Bad Boy Entertainment's newest star, Black Rob.
We loved him when he first kicked the now etched in stone verse on Puff Daddy's 'No Way Out.' We loved him even more when Rob dared us to go against him on the 'Slam' soundtrack. And now with the release of his debut, 'Life Story,' we love Rob even more.
After months of sitting on the backburner, Black Rob is hot, steamed up, and ready to explode all over the entire industry. There is no simile in the English language to compare this cat to, except "like WHOA!"
MVRemix: Has your album being delayed for so many months frustrated you?
Yeah it frustrated me. But you know what, being a person from the street
and being in jail and going through so much that I've been through, that
taught me patience. It took all the patience in the world to withstand this
little storm I've went through. It was a test for me. And what it did to
me is, it broke my spirit. I used to write a lot of rhymes. Everyday I
used to dedicate 5 or 6 hours just writing rhymes and creating. Being that
the album got pushed back so much it made me loose a little bit of my
spirit. So I mean, yeah it frustrated me. But I held it down. I'm here
MVRemix: What's the difference between Black Rob the entertainer, and Robert Ross,
the kid from Harlem?
Black Rob: It's really no difference because Black Rob don't change up. Robbie-O
don't change up. That's my name, I'm Robbie-O. Black Rob is a name.
Robbie-O is the person you see on the stage. Robbie-O is the person you see
on the video cameras. Robbie-O is the person you're talking to now. Black
Rob is just my name. I'm not living a double life.
MVRemix: Do you feel any pressure being the only remaining rapper on Bad Boy and also
as being viewed as their savior?
Black Rob: Yeah. Because all of a sudden I'm the savior. Then you start to wonder
"Why?" If those other cats were still here would I still be on the shelf?
That's why I'm going to score because they didn't have faith in the album in
the first place. So that's why I'm going to go three or four million
because God is on my side. God is going to be like "You know what? We're
going to make you go four million B. Rob because he ain't believe in the
first place. So we're going to make you get a lot of money and live
comfortably. You could retire and do what you want." But I'm not going to
stress it. It's alright because I got a hot album and I'm going to let them
see that I'm fire in the hole.
MVRemix: Nowadays there seems to be two kinds of rap-commercial and underground-where
do you fit in between the two?
Black Rob: I don't fit in. My music is gemini music. What I mean by that is my
music like here and there. You know it's ground music and it's air music.
So it just floats. Whichever person grabs it first, that is what's
happening. If the underground grabs it first, then it's just some
underground shit. But if the sky above grabs it that means it's heavenly.
That means it's commercial. Black Rob is underground until proven
commercial. You can play my record tomorrow that's underground and
everybody grabbed it, it's commercial.
MVRemix: I understand that you have a degree in Communications.
Black Rob: Yeah.
MVRemix: How are you incorporating that degree into the rap game and do you plan on
doing anything in the communications field in the near future?
Black Rob: I don't think so. I'm tired of school. I swear. That's why I couldn't do
no more years in school. I'm happy to be out of there. I swear. Not to
discourage anyone else and say school ain't all that. School is all that.
I'm just lazy. I don't want to get up in the morning to go to school. But
I'm coinciding everything with everything. The way I conduct myself is all
communication. I'm communicating even when I'm sleeping. I'm communicating
when I'm just sitting here saying nothing to you. My eyes are looking at
you. I'm communicating. I'm here. I'm in the flesh. I got my skills with
me and I came with a full barrel. A lot of ammunition. In September another
album will be coming out called Permanent Scars. We getting a Grammy next
year. I'm telling you. "Whoa" is the hottest single of the decade.
MVRemix: You're the President of A&R for Gotham City Records now?
Black Rob: Yeah.
MVRemix: How did you get that position, and can you explain what Gotham City Records
Black Rob: I'm going to tell you something about Gotham City. Gotham City ain't
nothing but Manhattan. You watch Batman, where did they live? In Manhattan.
Where did Superman live? Manhattan. That's the metropolis. That's Gotham
City. Manhattan. So we got a couple cats from Gotham City/Manhattan.
Everybody's basically got a lot of skill and talent. These kids is from the
ghetto and they formed a crew called Gotham City. But the kid that owned it
is a good friend of mine, I grew up with him. So he see what I'm doing for
myself and how my album came out, so he put me in charge of the A&R to help
his artists and my artists make albums. Due to the fact that we rented the
studio for a year, so he said, "Go ahead and make some albums man." My man
is under pressure right now. The feds got him. But it's alright. He'll be
home in a minute. I want to big up to my man B. Rob. His name is B. Rob
too. I mean, we gotta give cats love.
MVRemix: The Source gave "Life Story" 4 ½ mics. Do you think there is anything you
could've done differently to earn that other ½ mic?
Black Rob: Had "Whoa" on the album and gave it to them then. And "Espacio." I
would've been the first rapper to get 5 mics since B.I.G. I don't want to
change nothing on my album. Nothing. Keep it just the way it is. Brothers
is talking a lot of trash. I'm not even going to stress it because I'm
coming with hot soup. So you better bring your spoons to Tower Records with
you because you're going to experience hot soup.
MVRemix: Are you happy with this album?
Yeah. I'm ecstatic with the album. I'm jubilant. I feel wonderful.
MVRemix: What does the future behold for Black Rob?
Black Rob: The A&R job is just a stepping-stone. I got my own team. A couple of
other artists that's with me.
MVRemix: What about modeling? Are you still thinking about doing that?
Black Rob: You've seen my pictures. I'm a little sexy kid. I ain't no ugly kid, but
I don't know. I'm trying to get in some movies right now and chill on that
modeling thing. But you know, I want everybody to go cop the album March
7th. That's it. I got a lot of love for people. I don't have
disrespectful ways. So I hope that people give me the same love that I give
them. When I come to your town I tear it down, and I live there unscathed.
All the time I'm leaving unscathed. So that's showing me that everyone has
a lot of love for me, and I need that. And I show it back. When I'm come
down there and I tear it down, five or six songs, sweating, I'm coming out
to show ya'll the same love ya'll showing me. So big me up. Go
cop my album if you love me.