Skip to content Skip to footer

Why it’s so hard to like Russ: The Atlanta rapper who thinks he deserves it all

Russ has done it again — made himself seemingly impossible to vouch for.

The Atlanta resident rapper whose debut album, There’s Really A Wolf, went gold, happens to have just as much talent in rubbing people the wrong way as he does in his pen. And two days ago, Atlanta megaproducer Metro Boomin got a taste of that.

The Without Warning producer shared a photo of himself holding a card that reads “Russ Is Whack” on Twitter. Metro tagged Russ in the post then expounded later in a tweet, “and by whack I mean whack in spirit.. haven’t heard any music to come to that conclusion,” he wrote.

Thanks to context given by Montreal producer Kizzy, it was revealed that Metro was triggered by a tweet of a 2017 VladTV interview Russ did in which he blamed producers for the monotony of current rap.

It clearly didn’t matter that Russ said in an interview last year, his opinion wasn’t appreciated by producers eating off what’s been suggested as a trite sound.

Along with Metro, producer Cardo also took to Twitter to voice his displeasure, tweeting, “Russ and those Walt Disney bars he be spitting can get the fuck on. U can tell he still puts pizza rolls in the microwave.” “Don’t EVER downplay us music producers … EVER,” he continued.

Maybe in response, maybe not, but Russ shared his new single “Sore Losers” shortly after Metro’s tweet.

If you ask Russ, he’d be the first to say that it’s he who’s the victim, that the industry doesn’t like him and not the other way around. But his track record, just as we witnessed in the resurfacing of his Vlad interview, says otherwise.

Much like his critique of the “state of hip-hop,” — which is such a tired motif of the genre — Russ has a critique about everything. The once SoundCloud sensation who demanded a major deal off the strength of his following often comes off as pretentious, and it has never bode well for him.

In September of last year, he confronted Everyday Struggle host, Nadeska on claims that she lied about not having guest when he asked to come. It turned out that Russ was wrong, and that the email she sent never discouraged him from coming. He’s yet to apologize or come clean about this.

Piggy-backing off of that uncomfortable encounter, that same month Russ posted a tweet a short time after one of the shows that included an image of himself wearing a shirt that reads, “How much Xans and Lean do you have to do before you realize you’re a fucking loser.” In the tweet itself, he wrote, “After show. Message.”

The issue isn’t that what he’s saying is wrong, it’s the insensitivity and righteousness that comes with it. And who did it help?

Now deceased Chicago rapper, Fredo Santana, responded to his tweet, “Until I can stop thinking about my dead homies and the trauma that I been thru in my life that’s when I’ll stop.”

Similarly, just a few days after rapper Lil Peep died, Russ engaged in a 13-tweet rant expressing why he’s not cool with what he believes is rappers using a drug-addicted image for branding purposes.

The poor timing caused rapper Smokepurpp to call him out on Twitter.

The following month of that year, in an interview with Rap Radar’s Elliott Wilson and B. Dot, Russ made waves, again, by critiquing the music industry for rewarding “connections and fuck shit.” Russ said in the interview,

“I mean, if it rewards talent, feel me, I would be the biggest artist in the entire fucking world.”

The sense of entitlement and bravado in which he carries himself is really astonishing, especially given the fact that he is only popular with his core fans. And while that may garner him gold plaques with no features, it doesn’t make him global, cross-cultural or likable for that matter.

Discrediting everyone else’s talent due to the success he still yearns is telling to me, and while he wants to come off as the humble underdog SoundCloud success story, he presents himself as nothing more than a disgruntled artist trapped in the confines of his niche fanbase.

Russ is as talented as he is hard to like, and he has to thank himself for both.