Black Rob has always been underrated in my opinion, even during his time with Bad Boy Records, and he was certainly the most underrated artist on that label in its prime. Being on Bad Boy was a gift (the success of "Whoa" and his debut "Life Story") and a curse (basically everything that came after his first album received less attention than the album before it), however, he was mostly very good on the mic, and this is evident on his albums, all three of them.
It took me a LONG time to get this album. It dropped in 2000, but I didn't buy it till, wow, late 2010, smh+lol. That's something, lol. Either way, this is a very strong debut from Black Rob, and dare I say it was probably one of the last great albums released on Bad Boy. This album's success is largely due to the release of the now classic "Whoa", but the rest of the material on this album is just as good as that hit. When talking about his life stories (pun intended), Rob did it well on this debut. Interesting story: a good friend of mine named Byrant and I were talking about hip hop (this took place a few months ago) and the subject of Bad Boy came up. I mentioned that this album was better than Mase's "Harlem World". He thought I was crazy or something, lol, as yes, for the purposes of a debate, Harlem World is in NO way better than Life Story.
Rating- 4.5 stars
5 favorite songs- Life Story, Whoa, Can I Live, I Dare You, & Lookin At Us
This one was released 5 years after his debut. Although it made considerably less noise, it's still a slept on, excellent album. It was essentially more of the same, as he took what worked on his debut and tweaked it in certain places. The end result was very good in my opinion. This may be the most underrated album is his discography.
Rating- 4 stars
5 favorite songs- Ready, Watch Your Movements, Star in da Hood, They Heard I Got Life, & Smile in ya Face
After being released from prison in 2010, Black Rob struck a deal with the respectable independent label Duck Down Music, Inc., and I feel he works well with the label. This was released VERY quietly in 2011 and I may be the one person I know who owns this album, lol. It's a very good album overall. He mainly touches on his life experiences while being incarcerated, and it makes for a good listening experience. I also played this album once since I bought it, so I don't have 5 favorite songs at this point. I'll be revisiting this soon thanks to this post.
Rating- 3.5-4 stars
At this point, I haven't heard any news of him releasing another album, but if he does, it'll be added to my collection, no question. As long as remains on Duck Down, he can make the music he's capable, as opposed to joining a (major) label and changing his style to reach today's audience.