He’s known for giving melodic R&B-infused rap singles regularly, but Russ wanted to make sure that the industry didn’t forget that he can bring bars as well. The singer-songwriter is respected in the industry for being someone who not only navigates his own career as an independent artist but also helps to educate rising artists who are trying to find their footing. 

Last month, Russ delivered Chomp, his five-track EP that may have been limited in the number of songs but packed a heavy punch. The project featured KXNG Crooked, Ab-Soul, DJ Premier, Busta Rhymes, Benny The Butcher, and Black Thought, and in a recent interview with Apple Music, he spoke about the purpose of the project.

“I wanted to rap with the best. It’s like when you’re younger playing basketball and you’re trying to play with the older kids. I was trying to play up,” Russ said of his quality features. “I’ve never done a project like this. The fans that know the real depth of my catalog know I have stuff like this all over. But I knew that one song doesn’t really do it. When you do it five songs in a row it’s like, alright, I got it.” 

He also touched on being misunderstood. “A lot of people have misconstrued my perspective on my peers, thinking that I don’t like them, or I don’t want to collaborate,” said Russ. “And that’s really not the case, I just never came into this with connections, so I didn’t know anyone. So the whole narrative of ‘Russ doesn’t work with anyone else,’ it’s like, well because I don’t know anyone.”

Aside from proving that he has the bars to compete with the best of the best, Russ also may be lining up a smooth R&B record with coveted features, as well. “That’s definitely been thought about,” he said. “I might have to come with five songs and it’s me and Keyshia Cole, and Kehlani, and Ari Lennox, and there’s not an ounce of rap on it. And you put that right next to Chomp and it’s like, enjoy.”

We’ll have to wait and see. Check out his clip below.