Before developing a reputation as a pugnacious gatekeeper and instigator of rap beef, Russ built an impressive fan base on the strength of his rapping, singing, and songwriting, leading to a very successful independent career built on boisterous bars and a diligent, DIY approach to his pursuit of stardom. Now that rap fans have turned on him, it looks like he wants to re-establish his credentials as an upper-echelon wordsmith, releasing the star-studded Chomp EP, on which the controversial indie rap advocate challenges himself to keep up with Ab-Soul, Black Thought, Busta Rhymes, and more.
After making his major-label debut in 2017 with There’s Really A Wolf, Russ unfortunately began alienating fans with his anti-drug t-shirt. After memeing his self-serious sartorial choice into oblivion and back, fans seemed to have decided that the New Jersey-born, Atlanta-based rapper was a self-righteous jerk — a perception Russ himself did little to mitigate as he continued to double down on his criticisms of mainstream stars. He may even have furthered it with physical altercations between himself and relatively harmless party rappers like Smokepurpp and Guapdad 4000.
However, Russ has his defenders as well, while his recent actions have toned-down his image somewhat. By teaming up — and in some cases, actually going bar-for-bar — with respected vets and newcomers like Kxng Crooked and Benny The Butcher on Chomp, Russ may get fans to once again focus on what’s important — his music — and not his antics.
Chomp is out now. Get it here.