Black Rob, Game Tested, Streets Approved
Raw, unforgiving, hard New York rap. That’s Black Rob’s Game Tested, Streets Approved album in its essence. With his gruff tone and no-nonsense flow, Rob holds down 14 tracks with only one guest appearance without any problems.
BR bubbles on the enthralling “Boiling Water,” spitting, “Fuck a man, I put 10 in his jeep/and do 10 joints and come home and land on my feet.” Later, “Up North” has Rob giving the harsh realities of prison and offering lines like, “Yo, it’s funny/You should see how dudes walk up north/They be walking straight/They don’t Diddy Bop up north.” While the feel-good “Celebration” would be a perfect listen on a scorching summer day in the hood, Rob doesn’t waste time getting gritty again with cuts like “Wanna Get Dough” and “This is What it Is.”
“No Fear” serves as the apt closer to the LP and features the only guest on the project in Sean Price. After listening, it’s clear that the Rob is game tested and the streets will approve. Especially in New York. —Mark Lelinwalla