Bronx Style Bob


Contining to listen to Windows Media Player - I still gotta get one of those thingies that records on the blog what Windows Media Player is playing [SEE FOLLOWUP POST HERE] - but anyway, I'm listening to Everlast's "Today (Watch Me Shine)" and I'm gripped with curiosity regarding who Bronx Style Bob is. So, join me in this magical exploration:

Growing up in a working-class section of the north Bronx, Bob Khaleel would sometimes sit on a park bench and spend hours watching the world walk by. "There was an endless parade of all kinds of people -- construction workers, secretaries, school kids -- and I'd sit there and make up little movies in my mind about them. Even now, if I'm at an airport or a gig, wherever, one of my favorite things to do is to observe the human race."...

After a childhood highlighted by stickball games backlit by Yankee Stadium, the irresistible beats and rhymes of a growing musical movement drew Bob in. Influenced by early hip-hop pioneers like Zulu Nation, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Melle Mel, and the Cold Crush Brothers, Bob assumed the name Bronx Style Bob and became a diligent soldier in the hip-hop nation. Bronx Style Bob became a fixture in the vibrant scene that was downtown Manhattan in the early '80s, eventually recording and sharing the stage with his heroes....

Bob migrated to the West Coast in the early '90s after being recruited by ICE-T and the Rhyme Syndicate. But hip-hop was changing and Bob was evolving artistically. In 1992 he emerged with the critically acclaimed "Grandma's Ghost." "Rolling Stone" magazine named Bronx Style Bob best new artist that year....

Bob's eclectic musical vision took on a new form in the mid-'90s as he pumped up the volume at the helm of the five piece rock group Super 8. After recording an album with producer Rick Parashar, the soulful rock band took to the stage, jammin' on the H.O.R.D.E. tour and living out every arena rock fantasy by opening for AC/DC.

After over a year of nonstop touring, Bob took a little time to regroup, reflect and reintroduce himself to the simple pleasures of songwriting....Fostered by beats and melodies, introspection and harmony, 10 songs and 12 months later a new identity emerged. Featuring such diverse guest artists as members of Fishbone and Poe, Jellyfish alumni Roger Manning and Jason Faulkner, Sarah Bettens of K's Choice, Mary Harris of Spearhead, Josh Freese of the Vandals, and Lyle Workman, "People Watching" is Khaleel's most ambitious and mature work yet....

As you may have surmised, Bronx Style Bob also recorded with Everlast. Here's a 1998 album review:

...House of Pain member Everlast checks in with an album of down-home-blues-guitar-driven hip-hop. Imagine Johnny Cash or perhaps Chris Whitley doing a rap album, toss in a dash of contemporary urban social conscience and you'll twig to the spirit of the project. Guest spots by Prince Paul, the underappreciated Bronx Style Bob and others add to the appeal of this very palatable disc. Midway through the recording of Whitey Ford, Everlast underwent emergency open-heart surgery, and much of the narrative mirrors his heightened sense of mortality (though, spookily, it was written prior to the surgery)....

From the Ontario Empoblog