Black Thought & Black Rob Black Out On A New Song
Two years ago, the talented Black Rob passed away from various reported health complications, including a heart attack, multiple strokes, diabetes, and kidney failure. It happened in the same one month period where Hip-Hop mourned the passings of (onetime Black Rob collaborator) DMX and Digital Underground’s Shock G. The former Bad Boy Records star was several years removed from releasing albums. During the 2010s B.R. had worked with Diamond D, Cormega, Sadat X, and Deltron 3030, among others.
This week a new collaboration emerges that shows the Harlem, New Yorker in peak lyrical fashion. It is a thematic collaboration with The Roots’ Black Thought. “Black [No Matter What]” is produced by Rob three onetime Bad Boy Records “Hitmen”: Deric “D Dot” Angelettie, Nashiem Myrick, and Carlos “6 July” Broady—an ensemble who all worked on B.R.’s 2000 platinum debut, Life Story.
The MC renowned for his ability to be real and un-prentious raps from the heart. “They want me to act up / Room in the hood, I’m cracked up / When I heard that I cracked up / I used to come through, n___as used to get dapped up / Now I pray to God certain dudes get clapped up,” he begins. The lyrics appear to address rumors of Rob’s personal decline before his passing. The artist is aware of changing tides, but insists that reports of his demise are misguided. The artist also addresses time in jail, and having money saved from his days on the charts and radio. He warns the streets (and perhaps some Rap peers) that he is fighting shape, and looking for action.
The song starts to create a chorus, before Black Thought pushes right through in style. “Go bananas / Outstanding / Red, black, and green bandanas / Cock hammers,” begins the Grammy Award-winning South Philly MC as a hook. “I don’t fake it ’til I make it / I take it to the limit then break it / Represent it,” he adds, before referring to himself as “the last Jedi.” He also shouts out his collaborator in the verse, as well as Brooklyn’s Special Ed.
On Instagram, Thought wrote, “Rest in power Rob. We’d always joked about a ‘Black To Black’ project. This woulda been that vibe.” Black Rob’s team also had a post, suggesting that this song may belong to an upcoming album, Life Story 2. Their account says that the sequel to the Bad Boy LP, will be arriving this summer. The original album contains the Buckwild-produced hit single “Whoa,” as well as involvement from Puff Daddy, Ma$e, The LOX, Lil’ Kim, CeeLo, G. Dep, and Jennifer Lopez. In 2015, Rob last released Genuine Article.
Earlier this year, Black Thought partnered with El Michels Affair to release Glorious Game, which garnered praise from Ambrosia For Heads. Selections from that album currently appear on the AFH playlist: