HHW: We’ve heard some people assume that you are signed to a company that’s helping you put all of this music out. You posted a picture of yourself posing in front of a CAA sign and another with Rick Rubin.
Russ: No. I’m not signed. CAA was booking my shows. I just went there to f*ck with Cara Lewis [agent for Eminem and formerly Kanye West and Tupac Shakur], but when she left I left. She is still my booking agent, she is the best. Yeah, I met with Rick Rubin, but that’s just the domino effect. As the music spreads, people find out and want to meet you. But I’m not signed to anyone, I’m 100% independent.
HHW: Are you open to signing to anybody? You seem to be taking a Chance The Rapper type approach.
Russ: I used to be supper opposed to the idea. But I’ve talked with every label and realized that there’s artists that don’t care about getting on the radio and having #1 hits. But then there’s guys like me trying to play in the same game that Kanye is in. Guys who have hits on the radio and still have substance. You’re not doing that without a label. So yeah, I’m open to signing, we will see who has the best situation.
HHW: You’ve had a chance to perform around the country and overseas already. You recently did a show with Metro Boomin’ and Lil’ Yatcy. What has that experience been like?
Russ: It’s super epic. I see the engagement on Instagram and Soundcloud and I’m super aware so I’m like “my music is kinda popping.” But when you do shows, especially when you’re one of many on the bill, you don’t know if you’re going to have fans. You don’t know what to expect. At the Metro and Yatchy show in Chicago, I got on stage and asked the crowd “Do you know who I am?” and there was a big *ss roar. I do that at every show and there’s a roar and 150 people at the meet and greet. Even the times I’ve gotten crickets, that’s dope too. It’s actually smarter for me to perform in front of people who don’t know who I am so I can get a sh*t load of fans.