What happened to Black Rob? Tributes paid to ‘Whoa!’ rapper and P Diddy collaborator who died from kidney failure

The rapper had been suffering with high blood pressure for a number of years, and had battled through four strokes

The hip-hop world has suffered another unfortunate loss with the death of Black Rob at the age of 52.

Rob – real name Robert Ross – passed away in an Atlanta hospital after suffering from kidney failure.

Rob is perhaps best known for his hit 2000 single ‘Whoa!’, which reached the Billboard Hot 100 – in the UK, it peaked at number 44 on the Official Singles Chart.

Black Rob performing onstage in 2016 (Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Live Nation)Black Rob performing onstage in 2016 (Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Live Nation)
Black Rob performing onstage in 2016 (Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Live Nation)

Tributes have flooded in from across the music world and beyond.

Here is everything you need to know about him.

Who was Black Rob?

Rob was born and raised in New York's East Harlem and began rapping at an early age, inspired by the artists like Spoonie Gee and Slick Rick.

Black Rob in 2015 (Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)Black Rob in 2015 (Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Black Rob in 2015 (Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

At 22, he adopted the alias Bacardi Rob, and joined the Schizophrenics rap group, though they did not release any albums.

His career began to pick up in the 90s, and in 1996 Rob began associating with the Bad Boy label, and made appearances on albums by Puff Daddy and The Notorious B.I.G., which earned him media buzz.

His debut album ‘Life Story’ was released in 1999 and included the hit single ‘Whoa!’, Rob's only solo single to have reached the Billboard Hot 100.

But Rob’s life wasn’t all plain sailing, and in 2006, he was sentenced to over seven years in prison in 2006 after failing to appear in court for his sentencing on a charge of grand larceny from 2004, in which he pleaded guilty to criminal possession of more than $6,000 (£4,337) worth of jewelry stolen in a hotel.

He was released from prison in May 2010.

Over the course of his music career, Rob released four albums, including 2005’s ‘The Black Rob Report’, 2011’s ‘Game Tested, Streets Approved’, and 2015’s ‘Genuine Article’.

How did he die?

Rob had been suffering health ailments for years at the time of his passing, and had battled through multiple strokes and other complications arising from high blood pressure.

But fans of the rapper became more concerned when a recent video showed Rob paying his respects to the late DMX – from a hospital bed.

In the footage posted on Instagram, a visibly frail Rob said he had “big love” for the rapper, but also revealed he was suffering from “crazy pain”.

In another video in which the rapper sat upright in his hospital bed but appeared physically distressed, Rob said he had been dealing with health issues for “five years”.

“Four strokes… I don’t know what to tell you man,” he said. “This s*** is hard.”

Rob also revealed that he was homeless, telling fans “I don’t got no house to live in – except maybe an apartment.”

Karlie Hustle, former music director of hip hop radio station HOT 97, divulged more information on Twitter, saying Rob had “historically struggled with high blood pressure.”

According to Hustle, Rob had told another rapper “he was taking 10 pills a day to keep the condition under control.”

Hustle said “of course” Rob had no health insurance, because “music business.”

What is Black Rob’s net worth?

According to FamousNetWorth.org, Black Rob’s net worth stands at $2.3 million (£1.7 million).

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