Black Rob Talks New Album, Getting Back To Rap And Wanting To Collab With 50 Cent and Dr. Dre

24-hours after Black Rob released his comeback album Game Tested, Streets Approved, VIBE sat down with Spanish Harlem's own for the Straight Eight. Ready, set,...go! —Derryck “Nes” Johnson.


1. VIBE: After so much success with Bad Boy and all the rough personal experiences, how does it feel to get back to your craft with a new label situation and new start? 

Black Rob: It's refreshing, just to be able to do what I enjoy doing. I thank Duck Down for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. I have always respected what they did in this game.

2. How did you link up with Duck Down records? 

My man Coptic spoke with my manager and myself and informed us that Duck Down may be interested in that next B.R project. We had a meeting and the rest is history.

3. With the Dipset reunion, new music by Jim Jones, Cam, Vado and Jae Millz, what's Harlem feeling like these days in regards to the music scene?

To be honest, Harlem has always been on the scene one way or another. Harlem has always been about making that feel good music. That's what's going on now. Myself, Jim, Cam, and Vado. I really haven't heard anything from Millz tough, but I rocks with homie.

4. What can the listeners expect from your Duck Down records debut? What's the title & drop date?

Classic Black Rob. True and real Hip Hop. I've been hearing a lot of the fans saying that they want real music and lyrics, well Game Tested, Streets Approved is just that. Go get that! Trust me when I tell you,  it's crazy. I put a lot of work into that. That's an album you can listen straight through and not skip any tracks. In fact you will have to listen to it over and over again.

5. What producers handled production on your current project? 

Of course I got Buckwild on there, Coptic, Bishop, and Self Service. There are a few other surprises too.

6. Is there any artist(s) or producer(s) you haven't gotten the chance to work with you would love to collaborate with in the near future?

I don't really like to put names out there like that, but I will say this, I think the people would love to hear 50 and myself on a Dr. Dre track.

7. Give me 3 things people may not know about Black Rob...the person and artist?

Real, True, and LOYAL!!!

8. How is this time around for Black Rob going to be different then your previous run in the game?

Well as for me, I'm much mature and smarter now and just running with a different engine now. Duck Down. Then when you hear the things I'm saying on this project you will see. Make sure you get that. I also want to add this, let's show them that good music still does exist. The only way to show them is by supporting good music people. Buy the album and don't bootleg. That's why rock, country, and other genre be winning because their fans purchase their music!

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Nas Claimed Jay-Z Knew About R. Kelly's Predatory Behavior In Resurfaced Interview

R. Kelly's reported predatory behavior was painfully public for decades, leading many to dig in the archives to see just how many of his former collaborators knew of the singer's ways.

This week, a Nas interview with Wendy Williams resurfaced with the rapper angrily calling out Jay-Z for continuing to work with the singer after rumors continued to spread about Kelly's interest in teenage girls. The year was 2002 and for many hip-hop historians, the time of Nas' and Jay's infamous feud.

“That’s not my style,” Illmatic emcee said on Williams’ former 107.5 FM radio show. “I could have shown the R. Kelly video that everybody’s talking about and made fun of it and show pictures of Jay hanging out. You can’t tell me Jay didn’t see a 14-year-old girl come into the studio and sit on R. Kelly’s lap. You gonna tell me he didn’t see no 14-year-old girl come into the vicinity?"

In the early aughts, Jay and Kelly paired up to release Best of Both Worlds after their successful single collaborations, "Fiesta" (Remix) and "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" went to the top of the charts. 2002 was also the year recordings of Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old circulated around the country and later, the internet. In his interview, Nas brings up Kelly's problems and explained how he saw a "little problems" with his behavior.

“You’ve seen it go down. I’ve been around R. Kelly … I’ve been on tours with him. I didn’t see no 14-year-old, but I talked to the man and see there’s a little problem there. The brother needs help and I pray for him. I’m here for the people. I’m here to talk [about] the truth.”

Nearly 17 years before the 6-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly upended his sex cults, the unearthed discussion shows how complicit people were in the 52-year-old's perversions.

In an unearthed interview from 2002, #Nas tells #WendyWilliams that #JayZ had to have known about #RKelly and 14 year old girls when they worked on #BestOfBothWorlds

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on Jan 15, 2019 at 7:40am PST

A claim launched long before Surviving R.Kelly aired in January 2019, the rapper professes that both him and HOV knew that Kelly had taken a liking to young girls, though Nas asserts that he never saw young girls while with Kelly.

The Lifetime limited series was a 6-part exposé chronicling the generational abuse faced by young women and girls at the hands of the pied piper of R&B. Director dream hampton previously stated former colleagues of Kelly's declined to be interviewed for the doc including Jay-Z .

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Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

The Surviving R. Kelly series may be over, but the fallout from it has seemingly just begun.

Director dream hampton took to Twitter during the airing of the Lifetime documentary and spoke honestly about the several celebrity men she contacted in hopes they'd speak on camera about R. Kelly and the years of sexual allegations that have shadowed him. Among them was Dave Chappelle.

The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.


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Michelle Obama's 'Becoming' Creates New No. 1 Record On Amazon's Best-Selling Books List

Since the Nov. 2018 release of former First Lady Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming, consumers have quickly purchased the enigmatic figure's prose, allowing the book to reach historic heights. According to CNN, Becoming created a new streak on Amazon for its longest-selling book, surpassing a two-month run atop the roster.

Obama's book knocked out the film-spawning passage Fifty Shades of Grey's streak, which hit stands in 2012. Becoming tells stories of Obama's upbringing to life in The White House and having her every move monitored. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Obama shared that she wasn't hesitant to peel back the covers on certain parts of her life.

"...because here's the thing that I realized: People always ask me, 'Why is it that you're so authentic?' 'How is it that people connect to you?' And I think it starts because I like me. I like my story and all the bumps and bruises," Obama said. "I think that's what makes me uniquely me. So I've always been open with my staff, with young people, with my friends. And the other thing, Oprah: I know that whether we like it or not, Barack and I are role models."

In addition to this feat, Becoming was also deemed Canada's bestselling print book for 2018.

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