Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Something about going to Justin's seems to bring out the Bad Boy in us. The night we knew we were gonna interview Black Rob, all bets were on from our DJ Ashknuckles tape we got seven months ago. By now, everyone knows who Madd Rapper is. That's no longer a secret. But it's the government name of the Angry Producer that everyone (including Kronick's very own) is clamoring for. All bets were on and my vote went to Black Rob, with J.Z. & P-Wiggidun puttin' money on Tray-Lee. The only problem was the gingerly approach without causing a ruckus in the restaurant. Hence, with great trepidation, we got down to the mystery of this so-called MISTAKEN IDENTITY
KRON: So Rob, before we even get started I'd like you to tell the readers and let `em know that you ain't new to this Game just because this is your first full album with Life Story.
BLACK ROB: Yep, a Cat's been doin' this for too long! Since like, the mid `80's I've been battlin' Cats doin' this, that & the third. The Rap world has always been Real to me, Man. This is Real, Man! It's real.
KRON: What would you say it was that would be that defining moment that put you in the Game for Real, for life?
BLACK ROB: I feel like when Puff said he was gon' fuck wit' me, that's what saved my whole life and just Blessed me.
KRON: So up until that moment, what was goin' on in the world of Black Rob?
BLACK ROB: It was just like, day to day; battlin' Cats, goin' around Niggaz' way, rhymin' wit' Niggaz, rhymin' for Niggaz, givin' Niggaz rhymes, teachin' Niggaz how to rhyme… I mean, a whole lot Duke! I just ain't never get that shot. Then bein' in jail, a lotta things happened. This was during the late `80's and then thru the `90's, Man.
KRON: Were you always Black Rob or did you have another rhyme-alias before?
BLACK ROB: Nah, my name is Robbie O. That's the name I used to use on the mic. But Puff liked the name Black Rob, so we usin' that for now. You still gon' hear a lotta Robbie O. and B.R., so we not really gonna exploit that Black Rob thing too tough.
KRON: For the record, prior to the "I Dare You" joint, which really like pretty-much exposed the whole world to who you really were; what are some of the other cuts on other people's albums that we can find B.R.?
BLACK ROB: There's "24 Hours To Live" & "Chain Gang" wit' The Lox. Total, 112, Faith's Remix, Jackson 5 Remix…
KRON: Your track record is so thick that you basically had an album's worth of shit out on other people's joints and mix-tapes, right?
BLACK ROB: Yea, definitely. I got a little followin' now. Not like they killin' over me, but a lotta Brovas are startin' to recognize. They wanna know who the other voice is on the record. When they finally find out they like, "Oh Shit! Word?" It's always like that with me; I'm a slow burner. But in the end I always blow up.
KRON: How did the whole coming into contact with P.D. change things for you?
BLACK ROB: Basically, you know how in this business you gotta know somebody that knows somebody that knows somebody? That was my case; I knew somebody that knew Puff. I ain't never had a demo in my life, Son! KnowImean? So when my Man introduced me to Puff, I did my thing for him live! And he put me on right there on the spot. That was definitely a defining moment for me. You know?
KRON: Alright, let's get into the "I Dare You" track and some of the stuff on the upcoming Life Story album. `cause it's been a minute or two since that track was Hot. What do you have in the making for Life Story?
BLACK ROB: Well, we got a Hot joint called "You Don't Know Me" about to blast off in a hot minute. It's already on the radio. It's crazy out here! Getting' ready to go bananas. We got joints with The Lox. We got a joint with Cee-Lo from the Goodie MOB that's getting' ready to drop in a hot minute. It's getting' ready to be sick, Man!
KRON: So what? Are you droppin' two singles before the album?
BLACK ROB: About two or three. I already doused New York with a lotta Freestyles. Y'all don't live out here so I don't know if y'all heard `em or not. I did a Freestlye offa Main Source's "Lookin' At The Front Door". I did a Freestyle offa Kane's "Warm It Up". Also Brand Nubian's "Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down", Biz Mark's joint, and Premier's joint- "Take It Personal". All that was just on one Freestyle. It's a lot of that circulatin' out here now, that y'all might've not heard. But Black Rob has a buzz out here that's bananas!!
KRON: Are those Freestyle joints on the radio made specifically for mixtapes?
BLACK ROB: Yes, but they're also on the radio as DJ white labels. That's what they were for in the first place; for radio. You know, all the mixshow DJ's and then the mixtapes got to leak `em out first for people to like `em. But right now in NYC, basically Black Rob is the Man! Niggaz know who I am and I'm in demand. I ain't gotta do nothin' too crazy, or act up. I just gotta maintain `til my time comes. That's it. I'm getting' ready to give it to `em, Man!
KRON: Were you part of the whole Puff Daddy & Bad Boy World Tour?
BLACK ROB: Definitely, I toured 30 cities.
KRON: What was that experience like performing to what had to be a completely new audience for you every night? `Cause you ain't exactly no commercial Rapper. You tend to give it to `em raw & uncut. Naamean?
BLACK ROB: It was ahhite Man. I got to see alot of stuff I'd never seen. I got to parlay. As far as the crowd? It was like, Bananas Man! I knew what I had to do so it wasn't no turnin' back. "15,000 out there Black Rob; I know you ain't scared!" I mean, I just never got scared to perform in front of that many people. I just took to it like a fish to water. I went out and even if I was cold, I went right out. It wasn't not butterflies or cold feet or nothin' like that. I took to it like a fish to water; I'm part of the Game. This Game is for me! I was born to do this here. There's no ifs ands or buts about it. I'ma get what I deserve. I'm Platinum plus. Trust me; y'all hearin' this from me right now! I'm Platinum plus, the Soundscan is bananas… I'm Classic Man!
KRON: No doubt. Bein' that you've been in the camp for awhile watching other people go before you, why has this project taken so long? Has it been held back, or what?
BLACK ROB: Well if you really my Man, you gon' bear with me! If you not, you gon' call me this, that & the third. Or tell me to stop frontin', or whatever. The only thing I can tell them people is the truth. Yo, don't worry about it `cause I'm alright. That's the truth. I don't know what to tell you other than I'm alright.
KRON: Then let me flip that question and bounce it another way. Since you've been in the camp for a minute and seen how everybody works, do you have any favorite Producers out of The Hitmen?
BLACK ROB: Deric (D-Dot) Angeletti. D-Dot is the master when it comes to B.R.. He knows Black Rob! Yogi is another cat that's the Man. And Young Lord. Nashim & I worked on a couple of joints. Me & Nash didn't really get deep yet. But D-Dot, Young Lord, Yogi and Amen Ra-Ron Lawrence (Ra's real name). Them four put it together for Life Story.
KRON: (Easing into the intricate plot) Weren't you on the last DJ Ashknuckles tape, or wasn't Madd Rapper & Angry Producer givin' you props, or somethin'?
BLACK ROB: (Rob's eyebrows go up as he gives a long pause and deep stare into my grill). Yea, definitely.
KRON: (Taking the opportunity) Well how was it workin' with the Madd Rapper & Angry Producer?
BLACK ROB: (Now Rob looks at his Publicist before I grab his attention back)
KRON: Was it chill?
BLACK ROB: Yea, I mean…
KRON: Were they really Madd and Angry like they come off on the tapes?
BLACK ROB: Nah! I mean, they all good with me. They down with me! They ain't mad at me. We hang around the same way. We in the Hood! They madd like me. What!? We all mad, Nigga! Whateva. It's all Good workin' with them. It's the best. I Love workin' with Niggaz that's creative and got they own style. Ain't bitin' nobody else's style. That's all, Man!
KRON: (Feeling somewhat satisfied) Earlier you had touched upon collaborations you have on this album. How important is that to you at this point & time in Hip Hop to have that unity in collabo's. Whether it's within the Tri-State area, or even Down South or Out West.
BLACK ROB: As far as what?
KRON: Workin' with other artists who have different styles.
BLACK ROB: I mean, I'ma tell you like this. I really don't feel too wild about collaborations because you might collaborate with somebody that don't deserve your style; that's not worthy of rhymin' on a record wit' you. There's a lotta people Man, that never came in and showed me no Love. But they expect me to show them Love on my album. I mean, I did my collaborations with who I had to do `em wit'. And the album is Hot! Niggaz' gon' hear me. It ain't gon' be like some type of joint where you hearin' everybody else but me. I don't really take too light to all that. I mean, if you cool wit' me, we might could do a joint together. But as far as goin' to the West Coast and rhymin' like they rhyme… See, `cause that's all people is doin'; they takin' it to another level that a lotta people comin' from here are goin' to Atlanta makin' records with them, rhymin' like them! I don't get down like that; I don't rhyme like nobody. I got my own style. I like to rhyme like myself. I'm comfortable like this. I'm not tryin' to flip my tongue for nobody. I'ma get money this way. It's this or nothin'. That's it. I don't be tryin' to sound like nobody else, B. I got my own style. Some people messed up when they do that. They think it sound cute. You know? I can't sound like Scarface. Me? I'm just doin' my own thing, Man. I know I'ma Blow, too `cause it's original. Everything on my joint is original. Choruses is bangin'. Once you hear, you'll be like "Ohhh Shit!!" Some Niggaz' gon' sing in the party and get wild to this, others wanna dance… It's sick Man! Life Stories is sick, Man. In a store near you on Bad Boy Entertainment. I ain't goin' nowhere. Ain't no replacin' B.R., Man. That's it!