30. Black Rob
From: Yonkers, NY
Signature Song: Black Rob "Star in da Hood" (2005)
On Harlem World Ma$e rhymed, "See the moral of the story is/I'm not here to replace Notorious." Now that's a line we can appreciate because, let's face it, after Biggie died and Mase flew the coop, Puffy was in the hunt for a replacement that simply did not (and will never again) exist.
So Puffy did what he could and put out Black Rob. A streetwise rapper with a smooth flow, Rob scored a huge hit with "Whoa!" That turned out to be both the best and worst thing ever to happen to his career. It made people think Rob was a one-hit wonder who lucked out by getting on a crazy Buckwild beat. Rob's career stalled when he released little to no material and did a stint in jail, but that didn't change the fact that he was a strong rapper capable of spitting thoughtful rhymes.
Check his bars on "Star In The Hood" ("Lot of old dudes used to work my block, they on Lenox Ave now selling t-shirts and socks/Pushing everything they own in a shopping cart, so I throw'em a little something because it hurt my heart.") He could also craft a wild narrative, as he did on Puffy's "I Love You Baby"-who can forget his line "Run out of ammo, started throwing bottles"?
The only thing we're not sure about is his reference to "the Tavern on the Green robbery in '86" on Ma$e's "24 Hours To Live." Did that really happen? Because it sounds wayyy too specific not to be real-and we wouldn't put anything past Black.