Rap music is often defined as hard hitting edgy and full of grit. There are few artists music lovers take seriously when it comes to this mashup of street, musical talent, and creativity due to the nature of the genre and its demand for genuine belief. The Emcee known as Black Rob is one of those few and on the heels of a short hiatus he’s back to give you what he’s known for. I had a chance to get an exclusive first listen to his forthcoming fourth studio album Genuine Article, scheduled to be released April 21st, 2015, and I can say personally that Rob is ushering in the return of New York underground Hip-Hop in a non-stop listen kind of way. With an elevated lyrical flow and true to self musical content, the Former Bad Boy turned Independent artist has plenty of surprises in store for his core fans. Check out what he had to say about it all below.
Parlé Magazine: Let’s jump right into it. It’s been about four years since your last album release and a lot of people still remember your biggest single “Whoa” as your last body of work. What have you been up to over the years?
Black Rob: I mean you know man, Rob’s just been chillin’ man. Even with all the previous albums that came out I’ve just been laying low and letting everything simmer man. I really didn’t make any albums or records man because I was just at a standstill.
Parlé: So what brought you out of that standstill?
Black Rob: Man, my manager and everybody else felt like this was the right time to make an album in music so I came out and made it. It’s not the best I did but it’s alright, it’s slowly creeping up on 1st you know what I’m sayin? (Laughs).
Parlé: (Laughs) Slowly on the rise! I had the chance to listen and I definitely like the direction it’s going in. It’s a little different from your previous work. Did you have any specific inspirations for it?
Black Rob: Well, I mean I was just trying to make it different from all the other ones man. I mean I tried so hard and it came through. I feel like this one though is something good, a good album.
Parlé: With that new direction I noticed a change in how you spit, what’s different?
Black Rob: I mean if you like me man you’ll see the difference. If you rock with me, you will see how it’s different from all the other albums. If you’re really a Black Rob fan you can tell.
Parlé: Speaking of fans how do you think the album will do among the masses in the Pop-Rap world we live in today?
Black Rob: I mean man with all that singin’ and and sh*t going on this will stand out. It has a good feeling to it. I don’t know if its going platinum, (laughs) but I know people will rock with it.
Parlé: What are a few of your favorite tracks that you think will resonate with people?
Black Rob: “Wave of New York” is hitting man. Thats one that I worked on when I needed that different sound and the lyrics for it just came along. Its fresh and its hot man. There’s one with 112, that hott. I got so many hot joints on there man. It’s only 11 (tracks) but it feels like its 30. (laughs)
Parlé: (laughs) There were a few that I definitely felt, “Chapter One” is of them because it felt personal. Can you tell me about it?
Black Rob: Yeah man, “Chapter One” is my joint. It’s mad real, quiet, but the lyrics stand out. Most definitely about my life. Every record I make is something from me.
Parlé: Dope man. You mentioned earlier that your team said it was time to make this album, why is that? What is your take on current music?
Black Rob: I think music is in a good place man and its going where it’s supposed to be going. Its just time for something different, I think you gotta be nice man to make records that stand out and be different and I feel like I got it man.
Parlé: Well for sure the album was a full listen through for me so I’d say you’re right. Your collaborations were especially hot. Any other talented artist you may be looking to collab with soon or artists that you like their style?
Black Rob: Aww man, yeah. Ummm The kid Quan – we actually got one on the album. He’s on the joint we were just talking about, “Chapter One.” And plus man I got the kid Quas (Quas Amill) on several joints on there too. He’s my pick, the one I hand picked to be on the album he’s gon’ prove it.
Parlé: Perfect segway into your now independent status as an artist. I know you have your own label as well as a few artists now but why not continue a partnership with a Bad Boy or even another major label?
Black Rob: Well I just wanted to be away from Bad Boy you know what I’m sayin’ man? They ain’t got nothing else for me man. I appreciate Puff (Puff Daddy/Sean Combs) reaching out and doing a whole bunch of stuff for me and taking me to that level where I can be myself, but its time. This is chapter one man.
Parlé: And with this new beginning, does that mean you’re branching outside of music as well? Maybe some work on a reality tv show at some point?
Black Rob: Nah man. I aint like that, I’m not that kind of person to do something like that. If you hear something from me it’s gonnna be hardcore repping that borough. That’s how the next album will be. Next level, another version of this album.
Parlé: Dope. Looking forward to it. Will you be performing anywhere giving your fans a sample of what Genuine Article has in store soon?
Black Rob: Yeah, we just did a show in Quincy, Massachusetts and we’re working on some tours to promote the album.
Parlé: Last but not least, I must ask what does the title Genuine Article mean to you? Why that name?
Black Rob: I mean people know me man, I’m just Black Rob not everybody’s favorite but also everybody’s favorite. I’m the real thing. I don’t sugar coat nothing man, it’s just raw. All the stuff that I’ve been through man, you’re going to hear it on the album and that’s why we called it that.
Parlé: Well thanks man for taking some time to fill us in about the album. Looking forward to the tour.
Black Rob: Fo’ sho.