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Lil Rob Gangster Classics

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Album Review

It took him a while, but Lil Rob enjoyed his first taste of national crossover success in 2005 with "Summer Nights," a song from his Twelve Eighteen, Pt. 1 album. This foot-in-the-door hit inspired Low Profile Records to round up some old material from its vault for a cash-in compilation, Gangster Classics. The title isn't exactly accurate, though. Sure, these songs are gangsta, but they're far from classic. In fact, as the little front-cover blurb explains (or perhaps, forewarns), ten of the 13 "classics" here are previously unreleased. The twisted logic of the whole unreleased-classic bit aside, this is vintage Lil Rob. Fans of the rapper will no doubt like what's here, and collectors will want this for sure. But a proper best-of would have been more appropriate. Granted, Familia Records released one, titled Greatest Hits, back in 2003. That was a deeply flawed release, however, with its "nonstop" approach. Lil Rob deserves better, and until he gets better, it's best to stick with his proper album releases. Gangster Classics makes for a nice complement to those albums — nothing more, nothing less.


Born: 1975 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the first Chicano rappers to carve out a good niche for himself, Lil Rob established himself amid the West Coast rap scene during the late '90s, jumping around from independent label to independent label before finding a steady home at Upstairs Records, where he enjoyed growing success. He debuted on Familia Records in 1997 with Crazy Life, which established him as a hardcore rapper with a Chicano worldview. Similar albums followed in the years to come, and he associated himself closely with...
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Lil Rob Gangster Classics, Lil Rob
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