In 1999 when Black Rob stormed onto the scene as one of the new voices of Bad Boy records who would have thought that BR would define himself through the cult classic “Whoa” from his Platinum debut album Life Story. To this day the song is still a heavy club banger.
Black Rob’s latest installment, The Black Rob Report, is full of what else…BR’s life stories. BR starts off with “They Heard I Got Life.” Some of us heard the rumor that sparked the making of this song. It was said that BR had gotten life in prison because of his run-ins with the law and obtaining his fourth felony a while back. Evidently the rumors weren’t true.
BR then blazes another tight joint with “Watch Your Movements” featuring Akon, who has seemingly become the master hook man in recent months. Shining with everyone from Styles P to Young Jeezy and making nothing but hits. This song should be no different. It’s very melodic and catchy. It’s simply made to sing along too. Then BR hits us with some classic sounding BR material, “I’m A Star In Da Hood” The track borrows an old Wu Tang/Cappodonna sample and BR spits about fallen soldiers, drug money and being a star in the hood. BR spits, it’s all good now Dre wanna produce me/ I turned up the heat and got’em sweatin’ profusely/… I only got myself to blame/ fam if u was locked down in ’89 then you felt the pain/ shit HDM was no party/ I did four straight came home and ain’t tell on nobody/ what am I- I’m a Star In The Hood/.
BR even returns with funny skits reminiscent of his first disc. In one scene BR is pulled over by a racist officer and when he tells the officer “Im Black Rob” the officer replies “I’m White Cop.” Well, White Cop is back harassing BR again and all BR is doing is trying to find the Bypass on “Where Da Bypass At.”
The banger “Ready” is in heavy rotation as of now in video and radio outlets and once again BR gives u nothing but raw notes and listening to this track shows us why Diddy refuses to let him get away from Bad Boy. Black Rob tones it down a little bit on “B.L.A.C.K.” but he also keeps the song full of hood stories laid over a smooth piano filled track.
“When You Come Home” featuring Rhea is another testament to BR’s love and hate for his woman who was with him through all of his crazy life stories, jail stints and other complications. Rob spills his guts on this track and shows that thugs can love too. “You Know What” features The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on the hook. BR could have given this one a little more in-depth verbal juice to match the words of the Minister. “Y’all Know Who Killed Him” features Biggie on the hook, which is a good thing, but the track just doesn’t have enough life for the notes that BR spits.
The surprise of the album comes in the form of former Da Band member Ness on “Fire In Da Hole.” Ness and BR trade verses over a simple, bouncy track which does nothing for the club or dance floor, but makes you want to analyze the lyrics.
Former Da Band members Chopper and Ness pop up again on “Team.” Chopper is officially a problem. This kid has stepped up his lyrical game so much that he is definitely next to blow from the Bad Boy camp. Mark my words this kid is going to tear the game up. Everyone shines on this one but Chopper steals the show hands down.
BR closes out the disc with “Help Me Out,” “Long Live BR” and “The Verdict” and from me the verdict is that this is a great return for BR, but don’t expect a shiny Rolex in the air in the traditional Bad Boy sense because BR is not that type of cat. No shiny suits for this dude at all. He is Black Rob and you either love him or hate him but he will be a Bad Boy for life so don’t get it twisted. He’s here to stay.