After the Notorious B.I.G. was killed, Puffy Combs spent a lot of time trying to fill the big man's shoes. To this end, the Bad Boy label chief has enlisted a slew of substitutes, creating a catalog of dance-friendly, thug-life chronicles of high-life fantasies and gritty realities. Enter Harlem native Black Rob. A competent MC with a guttural delivery that recalls the smooth, reserved style of the late B.I.G., Black Rob constructs explicit tales with hooks you can feel and lyrics that stick. On a disc that includes support from Mase, Jennifer Lopez, Puff Daddy, and the Lox, Black Rob details hard street life replete with pain, death, and stark honesty. With 20 thoroughly bruising cuts, Black Rob's debut may just succeed in helping Puff Daddy regain the street credibility lost when Combs achieved mainstream/crossover status.
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AllMusic Review by Roxanne Blanford