The follow-up to 2020’s CHOMP, CHOMP 2, arrived just a year later, marking Russ’ first independent LP since parting ways with Columbia Records. For the project, Russ comes harder, assembling a team of superstar MCs to help guide the ship. With guest features from Ransom, Papoose, Westside Gunn, Snoop Dogg, Jay Electronica, Joey Bada$$ and more, the album threatens to buckle under the weight of its guest features. But Russ brought in these stars to amplify his own powers, which he shows off throughout the record. On opener “Sheep”, Russ unloads a single-verse track, rapping over a head-nodding, golden age-leaning beat from producer Jake One. Here, the MC reminisces on the days when talking smack was cool. He raps, “I'm from the generation where it isn't cool to be haters/You see, social media made everyone think they're celebrities/But what have y'all done that's worth celebrating?/And everybody got the same personality and identities.” His half-sung flow recalls one of his heroes, Drake, who also laces his menacing barbs with sweet melodies. Every faux influencer is offensive to Russ, who spent over a decade grinding to get to the top of the rap heap. Overnight success comes and goes, but the longevity of hard work is forever. Russ also showcases a chameleonic ability to blend in with the rappers he brings along for the ride. On the Harry Fraud-produced “Top of the World”, which features Louisiana’s Jay Electronica, Russ moves his concepts closer to the futuristic and astral wanderings of the New Orleans-born MC, spitting, “Jumping in, the pool of pure potentiality/Be one with your spirit, that's how you transcend reality/You might be a star but I'm the galaxy, my circle's at capacity/They bribe you to forget your dreams, they just call it a salary.” Whether Russ is going for the kill as a solo star or rapping alongside fellow superstars, the MC is always at home on CHOMP 2.

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