I said it before, I’ll say it again, some times the greatest rhyme writers of any time period are overlooked because they didn’t have the right promotional machine or hype behind them. A related issue is that many times these same artists didn’t have the opportunity to build the discographies to really make the case of their potential place in history. Of course, now we can never know if they would have continued on as their limited releases suggested, would they have blossom into further greatness or perhaps succumbed to the pressures of chasing a hit record? Who knows? In many cases, I wish we had the opportunity to find out. Chill Rob G is such a case.
Chill Rob G was a part of the mighty Flavor Unit crew, headed by the production genius of DJ Mark the 45 King and vocally supported by the talents of Latee, Queen Latifah, Lakim Shabazz, Apache, Lord Alibaski, Double J, etc…
Chill Rob G dropped his “Ride The Rhythm” album on Wildpitch Records in 1989. He found a mild underground hit with “Court’s In Session”, which was a telling example of the best that the album would offer; Progressive social consciousness, a strong determination for self-improvement and accountability, superb technical writing, and just enough braggadocio to keep the would be competition on their toes, all set to a exciting soundtrack of some of DJ Mark’s finest production.
Although the masses seemed to forget about Chill Rob G, the MCs did not. I suppose he perfectly qualifies as the MC’s MC. In 1989 when his “Ride The Rhythm” dropped, he was skillful enough to be ranked among the most talented rhyme writers of the time, certainly in the top 10, arguably closer to the top 5. His words have been quoted/sampled by Wise Intelligent, Jel, Casual (more than once), Poor Righteous Teachers, ED O.G., DJ Shadow, Compton’s Most Wanted, Buck 65 (2X), Tricky and of course, Snap, which we discuss in the interview.
After dropping an excellent debut album, Chill Rob G got caught up in label politics and various other setbacks that resulted in a halt on new releases for six years, at which point he came back with a couple 12” singles, before taking another hiatus for another a few years. He made his next return in 1999, a decade after his debut album, and not long after dropped the “Blackgold” album, a collection of works from the last several previous years. Beyond that, Chill Rob G showed up on a few vocal appearances, primarily alongside longtime collaborator DJ Mark The 45 King in the early 00s, but didn’t have the opportunity to fully build a well-rounded discography. However, he’s still leaking out quality music and, even though limited, has an impressive resume of music behind him.
I’d long been interested in hearing more of the Chill Rob G story. I initially connected with Chill Rob in the mid to late 90s and we spoke by phone and email a couple times, but for whatever reason I never did an interview and then we lost contact. Before I regained contact with him via Social Media, a few interviews with him had surfaced with the Golden Age Rap Blog explosion, so I felt the story had been fairly well covered. However, a couple years ago when I caught up with Chill Rob G at the Rock Steady Crew Anniversary I decided to have a quick word with him and give a condensed version of his history…
Written By Kevin Beacham
“Chill Is prefix, Rob is a Proper Noun/G is for greatness, I don’t want to debate this/The way that I’m rising I appear to be weightless…”-Chill Rob G