Russ: The Pink Elephant in the Room

Homer Simpson was once quoted saying that there only two kinds of people who could effectively rock a Hawaiian shirt: big fat party animals and gay guys. But that was the 90s. We are in a new era,...
By    May 13, 2014

Homer Simpson was once quoted saying that there only two kinds of people who could effectively rock a Hawaiian shirt: big fat party animals and gay guys. But that was the 90s. We are in a new era, bound by no sartorial restrictions or genre strictures. Enter Russ Vitale (performance name: Russ), who subverts unofficial-but-weakening Passion of the Weiss prohibitions against white rappers. For every Macklemore or Mike Stud (Google him at your own peril), there is a Jonwayne, a Yelawolf, a Wiki from Ratking. Even Mac Miller is eminently respectable these days. This future is odd.

Russ is one of the most talented rappers I’ve come across in a minute. He’s Atlanta raised, but currently based in LA where he alternates between spazz out raps, vintage G-Unit sing-song choruses, and sotto voce melodic acoustic guitar strums. The 21-year old rapper is affiliated with Georgia’s Diemon crew, produces and directs his own videos. Eminem is an obvious influence, so is Kid Cudi, which can be good or bad depending on what side of the blunt he wakes up on. Not every song hits, but the creativity is there.  White rappers are people too and sometimes they can be very good rappers. And when your copious drug intake seems artistically effective and you have the same hairstyle as me, the point is tipped in your favor. There are more Russ videos below the jump. They may be better than the Bartman.

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