Over the past year, well really over the past two years (since Puffy’s LP dropped), people have been talking about Black Rob. He featured on the LP, and the track in which he shined upon (‘I Love You Baby’) has resurfaced on his LP. The unfair thing that Black Rob was burdened with, is expectations to be ‘the next Biggie.’ I’ve heard it said way too many times, that he was Bad Boy’s only chance of another dope ‘hardcore’ artist. Well, he isn’t the next Biggie, however, he is a talented rapper.
‘Life Story’ isn’t that bad an album, but it isn’t really too good either. It features quite a few previously released tracks. As previously mentioned, ‘I Love You Baby’ from Puffy’s ‘No Way Out’ album is here. It was a good addition, however, he could have made just one more track to add, seeing as it was a two year period in between the release of Puffy’s LP, and his. Other tracks which you should recognize include ‘You Don’t Know Me,’ ‘Lookin’ At Us’ featuring Cee-Lo, ‘Life Story’ and the underrated ‘Can I Live’ which has The LOX guesting upon it.
The more impressive joints are the previously unreleased tracks. ‘Muscle Game’ is a really nice track, it’s one which probably will gain some mainstream success, but it has an element of depth to it. ‘Brown Hornet’ is another good track, it features the same beats as GP Wu’s ‘Black On Black Crime,’ and Black Rob makes good use of it. ‘Spanish Fly’ impressed me a lot, it has an up-tempo beat, a well sung hook (which is basically an altered version of Madonna's ‘La Isla Bonita,’) covered by a Miss Jennifer Lopez.
One of the LP’s best tracks is ‘Jasmine’ (which we featured as an exclusive months ago). The beats give a kind of exotic, Caribbean type feel to it, and Black Rob rhymes a story about a girl named Jasmine. Though the description may not sound too appealing, the track is dope.
The problems that this LP experiences are mostly due to the guests. The featuring of ‘I Dare You’ really pissed me off, I really can’t get into Joe Hookers singing, I’ve been listening to it since August of last year, and it has not grown on me in the slightest. Puffy and Ma$e lower the quality of the track ‘Down The Line,’ however, it isn’t really that good a track other than the inclusion of Black Rob’s rhymes, the beats aren’t anything special, they make the track feel really long, and, well, it isn’t a particularly good track. ‘PD World Tour’ is another example of something, which should have been left off, not a too impressive cut.
Something which surprised, and in some respects, annoyed me, is the track ‘Thug Story.’ Slick Rick created the original track ('Children's Story') ages ago, and since then I’ve heard at least eight rip offs of it. Emcees/groups add some just slightly different verses, and replace Slick Rick’s name with their own. In case you hadn’t gathered what I’m saying yet, ‘Life Story’ features a variation of Rick’s ‘Children’s Story.’ It isn’t any different to the other copies of the track, probably an idea to gain some commercial success by releasing a familiar feeling track.
Overall, Black Rob has put together a nice solo effort, but it really isn’t as impressive as the hype surrounding it had made it out to be.