Black Rob is certainly glad to be free. Couple that with the fact that his new album, Game Tested, Street Approved, drops next week, and you’ve got one lively man to talk to. So lively, in fact, that I could barely get everything typed fast enough to keep up with him. So, here are some of B.R.’s pure, unfiltered thoughts on, among other things, prison, Diddy, and the state of NY hip-hop.
On being free
It feels good, man. It feels like I’m supposed to be here. I just did four years, man. It feels like, I want to go to chow. I want to get a package. It’s like, when you up there, you up there, my man. (My routine in jail) is the only shit I feel that I still do from jail. I wouldn’t wish (jail) on my worst enemy man. It’s the worst.
On his work-ethic
My grind is serious, man. When I want something, I’ll go get it. Even as a stick up kid, if I wanted something, I’m going to get it. It’s the same with the rap game. That’s why I do this by myself. That’s why I hold down my own albums. When I’m focused, I’m a problem, man. ‘Cause I’m a writer. To this day, nobody ever wrote a rhyme for me.
That jail sh*t ain’t about nothin’, my n***a. My first bid I used (to brag). It was like a rite of passage. Everybody in my hood was going to jail. Back in the eighties and nineties, it was cool to go to jail. But that sh*t ain’t cool, man. (Correctional Officers) gon’ treat you like sh*t. They like “I’ll still put you in a box.”
On Staying Clean
If I didn’t stick to my (new regiment), I would not be talking to you right now. I wouldn’t have done those shows recently. When you f***in’ with that cocaine, man, and them pills? You’re not focused, man. Like I said, it goes back to my drive and knowing what I’m capable of right now, man.
On being an elder statesman of hip-hop
Time has been on my side. I still look the same. I’m grown. I’m aging gracefully right now. My sword is still sharp.
On the state of NY hip-hop
When I came home, I was thinking of coming home to a New York state of mind. But I’m coming home to everyone divided. N*ggas is talkin’ shit. I don’t give a f*ck, my n*gga. See, n*ggas just think they harder than me. I don’t care. It’s all about being smart right now. Smart is the new gangsta.
I got a call from Puff and we chopped it up. I’m a man. I’m human. If you tell me, ‘Yo Rob, it wasn’t like that. I didn’t even know you felt that way.’- If you say that, I’m gonna be like, I’m gonna end it right here.
On ‘Game Tested, Street Approved’
(It’s) real sh*t, man. All my other joints, all my other albums, man, I only spit the truth. People be telling me, ‘the truth don’t sell.’ Well, we gon’ see. I know people want to hear what I got to say man. So you know, it’s all good.