It’s hard to write this piece about BigBob, a legend of the underground hip hop community and a great person. Not only was he one of the best boom bap producers, he was an inspired creative, a brilliant artist and a damn fine friend to everyone who had the pleasure of crossing his path. I spoke with BigBob on the regular. He’s hit the inbox with snippets of beats he was working on. We’d talk about upcoming projects, hip hop history and also about life in general. We spoke just a few days ago and he sent a really intriguing soundbyte of an upcoming beat – sadly, likely one we won’t hear come to completion.
Southern Ontario native and visionary music producer, BigBob said “Yes” to service with purpose and to deliver real & powerful hip hop music. Growing up in the idyllic coastal town of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, BigBob found his calling to create hip hop beats stimulated by his admiration of the golden era of the 90’s and early 2000’s. His notable inspirations were DJ Premier, RZA, JDilla, Alchemist & Pete Rock to name a few. His soundscape pushed the continuity of the boombap sound. Sticking close to tradition with his cutting edge signature drum style and dark constructions, BigBob kept creating for the discerning hip hop connoisseurs.
I developed a relationship with Bob through a love of hip hop, he was an inspired producer who had worked with some incredible artists but he was a student of the culture and he loved talking about it. We’d text back and forth, link songs to share, snippets of things we were doing. I’d get advanced copies of his projects so I could review them, because he was always respectful of my time and energy. On two occasions I received gifts packs from halfway across the world with CDs, vinyl, tshirts and more. When he sent the latest package with the new Nelson Dialect album which the physical featured two bonus tracks, he’d ask every week if it had arrived yet and what I thought of them.
He gave of himself to everyone and it’s a memory that will never fade. His connection with artists like Raf Almighty were legendary. The chemistry on record was palpable and the ‘bring the best out of each other’ mentality was always on show. And it manifested in the music. Never one to shine the apoight on himself, he was happy being a behind the scenes kind of guy and ensuring he propped up those around him. Of all things, this will be sorely missed in a culture that has a crabs in a bucket or ‘me first’ mentality. Luckily, business partner and long time friend Daddy Notch confirms that Elite Sound International will continue on in his memory, and Raf has also stated that Big Almighty is going to live on.
As I sit here writing this, rocking the ‘Once Upon A Time in Baltimore’ t-shirt he blessed me with, I’ve created a Spotify playlist with 20 dope tracks that BigBob blessed us with, hoping that you’ll press play and take a musical journey with us (and please go and purchase some of the dope music through Elite Sound International). We’ll update it so that it stays as fresh as his production and energy did. Let’s celebrate the accomplishments of Bob, as well as cherish the memories and music we are left with. Rest in Beats my brother, I know you and V are finally back being that adorable power couple.