NEW YORK - A new wave of grief is sweeping over hip hop fans still mourning the passing of DMX as word spreads of another beloved rapper who is gone.
Friends and associates are confirming that Bad Boy artist Black Rob lost his battle with kidney disease and other health issues in Atlanta, just as many were realizing for the first time how gravely ill he really was.
Hip hop fans know Black Rob from his 4 studio albums, and breakout hit "Whoa."
What they didn't know was how sick he was, evident in a video DJ Self posted from his hospital bed on April 10th. Black Rob was sending condolences on the death of DMX, and shocked many by how frail he looked.
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Black Rob was identified with Harlem, where he grew up. Musically, he was underrated for his skills, says AllHipHop.com CEO Chuck Creekmur.
"He was one of those pillars of the streets one of those really truly authentic artists that you knew was always going to keep it real, quite similar to DMX," Creekmur said.
Like many artists who depend on shows for most of their income, Black Rob was hit hard financially during the pandemic and facing medical bills and homelessness. Some friends started a GoFundMe page for him. Sadly, a day before he died, marketing mogul Dave Huie, Mario Winans, Jahiem, and Jahiem's manager Pookie Gist had begun to get him ongoing financial and medical support.
"Step 1 we were going to try to get him help healthwise and get him situated and everybody was like man, don't worry about all this GoFundMe stuff, we need to make sure he has a place to live after this, and people are really going to try to actively figure this out. Back of your mind, you're like "How did it get this far?" Huie told FOX 5 NY.
Some of it may have had to do with the pride of an artist who embodied the streets.
"Rob wasn't basically looking for a handout from anybody, that's why I think it got to the point where it was because he was trying to take care of it himself and try and do shows. If you're in bad health and you can't stand on the stage for an hour to do a show, then you can't get any income." Gist told FOX 5 NY.
Black Rob reunited with Diddy for part of the Bad Boy family reunion tour in 2016. Condolences continue to flood social media.