The music community has suffered its latest tragedy with the murder of Hip-Hop star PnB Rock, who was gunned down during a robbery at a popular Los Angeles eatery on Monday (Sept. 12). News of the 30-year-old singer’s death began to circulate following rumors he had been shot during an incident at a Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles location in South Central, Los Angeles. Witnesses claim that PnB Rock was dining with his girlfriend at the time he was approached by armed men and shot multiple times before being relieved of his jewelry and Rolex watch. Local authorities would later confirm Rock’s death. No suspects have been arrested at this time.
A native of Philadelphia, PnB Rock embarked on a music career following various stints in juvenile and adult prison facilities and utilized his talent as a singer and songwriter to gain local fanfare. After the 2014 debut of his mixtape, Real Ni**a Bangaz, PnB Rock caught the attention of Atlantic Records, and the promising newcomer inked a record deal with the label in the following year. PnB Rock caught traction through standout releases from the second and third installments of his RNB series, such as his 2016 single “Selfish,” as well as collaborations alongside stars like Kodak Black, YFN Lucci, XXXTentacion, and A Boogie wit da Hoodie.
In 2017, PnB released his debut album, Catch These Vibes, which peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and established himself as a rising star. He also released his fourth solo mixtape, GTTM: Goin Thru the Motions, which yielded his multiple hit singles, including “Selfish,” his first RIAA-certified single.
Continuing his career trajectory with 2019’s TrapStar Turnt PopStar, PnB Rock’s sophomore album marked his first Top 5 debut on a Billboard album chart. Other full-length projects from PnB Rock include his collaborative EP with Fetty Wap Money, Hoes & Flows, and his latest effort, 2021’s 2 Get You Thru the Rain EP. While his passing will undoubtedly leave a void, PnB Rock will be remembered for his melodic vocals, raw truths concerning matters of the heart, and being among the most personable artists of his era.
In remembrance of his life and legacy, VIBE looks back on 15 of PnB Rock’s most memorable musical moments that showcase his greatness and will help keep his name alive for years to come.
"Bad Vibes Forever"
PnB Rock’s services are enlisted by XXXTENTACION for this guitar-laden ditty, which also features an appearance by Trippie Redd. Driven by live instrumentation by John Cunningham, this jam finds the trio flexing their vocals while caught in moments of contemplation. The title track from XXX’s second posthumous studio album, “Bad Vibes Forever” was accompanied by a music video and has since peaked at No. 85 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2019, PnB Rock unveiled his TrapStar Turnt PopStar project, which included this previously teased collaboration with late rapper XXXTENTACION. Sharing their respective journeys as adolescents, PnB and XXX recapture the magic of past hits as they recollect their experiences coming of age in a tumultuous environment. Produced by DatKidChris, this single reached No. 91 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving PnB an additional entry on the chart to add to his resume.
"I Like Girls"
For his sophomore studio album TrapStar Turnt PopStar, PnB Rock scored one of his most popular songs as a lead artist to date with this upbeat ditty. Gliding over a beat scored by Hitmaka, Ayo & Keyz, and Chrishan, the two Pennsylvania natives detail their affinity for relations with women who identify with the lesbian community. Anchored by an electric feature from Lil Skies, this track yielded PnB another piece of gold hardware from the RIAA and a peak entry of No. 48 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
"Leave Em Alone"
Quality Control songstress Layton Greene recruited PnB Rock for her star-studded 2019 single “Leave Em Alone,” which also included verses from Lil Baby and City Girls. Produced by Hitmaka, Cardiak, Paul Cabbi, and Rodney Jerkins, the quartet of boardsmen created a fluttery backdrop over which all parties brought their A-Game, including PnB. Reaching No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Leave Em Alone” was also certified platinum, bolstering Pnb Rock’s reputation as one of the hottest crooners in Hip-Hop.
Both hailing from the city of brotherly love, PnB Rock and Meek Mill took it upon their liberty to link up for one of the biggest records to come out of the city in recent memory. Linking up with Chi-Town connects Jeremih and Hitmaka, Pnb, Meek, and their collaborators deliver a syrupy groove that resonates with both men and women. Doling out compliments fit for a goddess, PnB plays his part perfectly for this cut, which stands as a landmark moment in his career.
Emotions run rampant on this groove from PnB Rock’s Catch These Vibes album. The Philly native finds himself reminiscing on memorable moments with a past lover, to who he no longer has emotional or physical access. Produced by Juan Ye & Ray Lennon, the song is a syrupy offering that has retained its staying power years after being unveiled.
French Montana and Swae Lee’s 2017 single “Unforgettable” became a worldwide phenomenon and continues to ring to this day. However, PnB Rock’s freestyle over the beat that same year has gradually rivaled the original in popularity since that time while managing to catch a life of its own. Inspired by a radio freestyle he did atop the track days prior, PnB decided to record and release it for the masses, and it has since become one of his most recognizable releases and a bonafide party staple.
PnB Rock provides the foundation for this explosive collaborative effort, which finds him joining forces with previous costar Kodak Black and Bronx rep A Boogie wit da Hoodie. Racing over a frantic soundscape courtesy of DJ Chose & KrishnaMusic, the trio contribute verses detailing their frenetic lifestyle, with each dropping car-inspired references. Playing to themes conveyed in The Fate of the Furious film, which this cut was released in support of, PnB and company took the poll position, along with a double-platinum plaque, with this musical relay.
"There She Go"
“Every time she walk by, I can see in her eyes,” PnB boasts on this catchy offering, which finds him placing his sights on a potential romantic partner. Featuring a guest spot by YFN Lucci, the track finds the pair picking up where they left off on their smash hit “Everyday We Lit” while catering to their respective female fan bases. Powered by production from Bizzy Genius, this track was included on PnB’s 2017 mixtape GTTM: Goin Thru The Motions.
Slade Da Monsta provides a spacy instrumental for PnB Rock to saunter over for this track from his GTTM: Goin Thru The Motions album. Announcing his refusal to conform to a committed relationship, PnB questions whether the women in his life are willing to accept him and his lifestyle as presently constructed. Reaching Gold certification by the RIAA, “Misunderstood” continued what proved to be an extended winning streak for PnB.
PnB Rock attempts to be at the center of a woman’s affection on this playful number, and the lanky crooner pulls out all the stops to make his presence felt. Produced by Dez Wright & J Gramm, the track finds PnB obsessing over a social media crush whose profile he’s been perusing. Pondering if he’s captured his prospective love interest’s attention amid visions of him upgrading her lifestyle, PnB shines on this standout from his GTTM: Goin Thru The Motions project.
"Everyday We Lit"
PnB Rock and YFN Lucci caught a runaway hit with their June James-produced effort “Everyday We Lit” from Lucci’s Long Live Nut EP. Toasting up to the highlife, the track saw the pair basking in the trappings of their success after enduring a life of poverty. “Everyday We Lit,” which peaked at No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100, would become among both artists’ most significant rap hits. PnB’s appearances on Ed Sheeran’s “Cross Me” and Meek Mill’s “Dangerous” are his only song releases to surpass it in chart position.
PnB Rock wore his heart on his sleeve for this vulnerable selection from his fourth solo mixtape GTTM: Goin Thru The Motions. Admitting his possessive tendencies over a pulsating, synth-driven backdrop crafted by Donut & Needlz, PnB scored his first breakout hit with this 2016 release. The track, which peaked at No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified triple platinum by the RIAA, is a signature in PnB’s catalog and helped place the Philly rep on the national radar.
"Too Many Years"
After being subjected to incarceration within the prison system, PnB Rock and Kodak Black teamed up to recount their experiences on this stirring testimonial from Kodak Black’s Lil B.I.G. Pac project. Taking the lead, PnB laments the anguish that comes with years lost behind the wall, unleashing passionate wails over a track produced by J Gramm. The appearance ranks as one of PnB’s most captivating performances, as he showcases the grit and texture of his vocals while costarring alongside his Floridian comrade.
Time is of the essence on this upbeat salvo, as PnB Rock makes clear that his focus would be better spent building his empire than tending to a budding romance. Yet, assurances that his love is pure are given in the form of lavish shopping sprees and first-class trips to exotic destinations, as he strives to atone for his shortcomings. Produced by Jus x Caution, this release was unveiled as part of his 2015 mixtape RNB3 and remains a favorite among his most devoted fans.