Born Robert Ross on June 8, 1968, in Buffalo, New York, rapper Black Rob made a splash with his debut album Life Story and its hit lead single, "Whoa!," in 2000. Raised in East Harlem, Ross began sharpening his rap skills as a teenager and joined his first rap group, the Schizophrenics, at age 22. Initially launching his solo career under the name "Bacardi Rob," Ross signed with Bad Boy Records in 1996 and lent his voice to a slew of the legendary hip-hop label's releases, including albums by Faith Evans, The Notorious B.I.G., and Puff Daddy. He then released 2000's Life Story, which went platinum in the US and spawned the Top 10 rap hit "Whoa!." His second album, The Black Rob Report, arrived five years later. Ross was soon sent to prison in 2006 after failing to appear in court for his sentencing on a previous charge. He was released in May 2010 and dropped his third album, Game Tested, Streets Approved, the following year. Ross suffered a mild stroke four years later, which prompted him to make healthier lifestyle choices. His fourth album, Genuine Article, arrived in 2015. Six years later, Black Rob succumbed to kidney failure at 52 years old, passing away on April 17, 2021.