Russ Vitale, better known by his stage name Russ, is an American/ Sicilian hip hop recording artist and record producer. He is one of the fastest growing artists of 2016 along with his DIEMON Crew, a rap group. In 2016, Russ signed to Columbia Records. He later released the single "What They Want."
Even though the video was released in May, it has been viewed by over 10 Million people. This song has just been added to the radio lineup, after his cypher on the BET Hip Hop Awards.
But this 24- year-old New Jersey native later moved to Atlanta when he was young. He really got his start as being strictly a Soundclould artist. In 2014, he released a song throughout the week for his fans and received millions of plays within just hours of each release. And overall he has 72 Million plays straight off of Soundcloud. Plus, his songs are all self-written, produced, mixed and mastered. Nobody knows this, but as being apart of the DIEMON crew, Russ has released 11 albums with critical acclaim. So Yes, this guys resumé is the real deal.
His sound is so unique. People may consider him as a "backpack" rapper because he doesn't have the lyricism or wordplay that we are accustomed to at the moment, but he makes up for all of that with his storytelling. In a recent interview on Power 105 LA on the Cruz show he says:
"NOW, THERE ARE ARTISTS OUT THAT WILL BLOW UP FROM ONE SONG, THAT'S NOT HOW I AM. MY CATALOG SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. I HAVE SHOWS WHERE THE FANS KNOW EVERY SONG WORD FOR WORD. BLOWING UP FROM ONE SONG, THAT SONG EVENTUALLY BECOMES BIGGER THAN YOU. I WANT PEOPLE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ME NOT THE SONG."
Also in the interview he sort of comes after Drake, saying he's coming for his spot. Saying that Drake is at the number one spot right now and that's where he wants to be in the rap game. Don't get upset with him guys, he says Drake, Nate Dogg and Kanye are all rappers that he looks up too and would love to collaborate with in the future. You can hear the full interview here, which you should because he talks about going to strip clubs + says XXL Freshman cover was "terrible" and more.
Fun Fact: he has two different colored eyes! I really just wanted to throw that in there.