When Russ wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan, “How much Xans and Lean do you have to do before you realize you’re a f*cking loser?” he probably wasn’t expecting such a tremendous response online. After all, he just wanted to spread a positive, drug-free message, albeit in a sort of corny, pretentious way that made him look more preachy than concerned.
After being thoroughly roasted by the denizens of rap Twitter, he did what all artists probably should do when they’ve got a grievance: He hit the booth and returned with “Think Twice,” a melancholy-but-fiery, Scott Storch-produced diatribe against the critics and haters who thought to demean his well-intentioned message, saying, “I won’t ever be quiet ’cause I’m famous, y’all gone hate this.”
Targets include perpetually pissed-off, grouchy rap uncle Joe Budden, who challenged Russ to return to his show Everyday Struggle with the same energy after he was absent for Russ’s outspoken rant on Friday, “slow rappers who subliminally dissed,” and internet pranksters who tried to detract from his T-shirt’s message. After all, his purpose in sharing the photo of his shirt’s slogan was to encourage kids to turn down the heavy sedative abuse that’s become a favored topic of the colorful-dreaded, younger generation of rappers that included Lil Pump, who may have been Russ’ primary target all along. As he previously explained on Twitter, “If I stopped ONE kid from abusing Xans or lean, mission accomplished… better than getting ONE kid to try that sh*t. Period.”
Hopefully the controversy doesn’t continue to overshadow the obvious quality of his music or his message, as he’s a solid enough rapper when motivated, and he really does seem to care about helping kids stay away from substance abuse.