Biggie called it home. Jay Z hustled its corners. Mos Def harnessed his lyrical ability under her street lamps. Brooklyn laid the essential foundation for three of the greatest rappers ever and continues to be a thriving source of musical talent. One of BK’s up and coming talents, Rob Cave, perpetuates this notion.
Ever since a kid, Rob has had a creative and curious mind, which have shaped his well-rounded nature. He draws; he raps; he writes; he’s a fan of Dare Devil; he wears many hats. Except one hat that he rocks doesn’t fit many. Rob is an insightful underground rapper and writer out of Brooklyn, NY who is poised to establish his rightful place in Hip hop. Formerly known as Spec Boogie, he abandoned the pseudonym due to his inability to distinguish between his rapper persona and himself; their duality make Rob, Rob. After opening in Europe for legends like Rakim, GZA and Big Daddy Kane, Rob came back stateside to begin work on his album, Books & Chicks & Brooklyn S#!T.
Contrary to some belief, Rob didn’t take a five-year hiatus from rapping. He spent this time overseas performing as well as developing Books & Chicks & Brooklyn S#!T, which dropped on November 11, 2015. This album is equivalent to sweet and sour sauce—it has smooth 90s soul with a gritty bite. The Golden Era production provides a classic, head bumping, put-your-ass-in-a-neck-brace effect that we all love so much while his beautifully told deep stories engage your mind and heart. Aside from writing and rapping, Rob also created the cool and symbolic cover art; pieces from the album, like crack, dice and books, surround a Basquiat crown-encrusted “Rob Cave”. The album contains features from Your Old Droog and DonWill and beats from producers of Rob’s longtime collaborative group, Lessondary Crew. Just like Rob, the lyrical content is versatile, clever and honest.
The opening track, “Rise Up”, tells the story of growing up in a dangerous environment engulfed in darkness, but how transcending one’s environment is paramount to success. On “Crackrocks & Jumpshots", he adapts the opening to Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story” and samples The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Things Done Changed" on the hook. This song discusses limitations imposed by a suffocating environment and breaking its stranglehold. Rob dives into the traumatic matter on the closing track, “Calling God", of devastatingly losing his parents. While this track clearly retains a sad nature, it’s proved therapeutic for Rob to be able to talk and write about it. In his words, “If I couldn’t be able to discuss it, then that’d really be bad.”
I think this project has a matured finish that’s filled with diverse and sonically pleasing records. Heed my advice: Don’t be the one to sleep on this guy. Rob was awesome to work with and I’m sure he will enjoy a successful career. He was a part of the June release, Ahead of Schedule, a collaborative project with the Lessonday Crew, which further proves Rob's worth in the rap game. I'm sure the Brooklyn emcee is busy writing and rapping his way towards his next release. Until then, keep this guy in your current music rotation.
ZeusWolf Choice Picks: