Russ, whose debut studio album There’s Really A Wolf back in May railed against studio gangsters and industry-created clones in hip-hop, among other things, found a new way to lash out against his least favorite rappers. On Sunday, he posted a photo to his Twitter with a custom T-shirt that read “How much Xans and lean do you have to do before you realize you’re a f*cking loser?” with the caption, “After show. Message.”
The shirt, which can be purchased from this customizing site, generated a wave of discussion in the replies to Russ’ original post, from agreement to disappointment in his treatment of a potentially sensitive topic, with some users admonishing the young rapper for “victim blaming.” Many of responses were pleas for Russ to name the merchant he copped it from.
A few posters took the shirt’s message as a subliminal dis to up-and-coming rapper Lil Pump, who is building a buzz behind songs that overtly reference the use of Xanax. Rather than lashing out, they praised Pump with hyperbolic epithets like “trapper of the century,” and crediting him with “dropping out of Harvard to save hip-hop.”
Russ himself did his best to clarify his intent with the shirt’s slogan later on, writing: “If I stopped ONE kid from abusing Xans or lean, mission accomplished. Better than getting ONE kid to try that sh*t. Period. Doing Xanax and lean cuz your favorite rapper makes it sound cool is all fun and games till your impressionable ass gets addicted. Stop. Y’all angry ass junkies can also get out my mentions. I know you don’t like your life when you’re on or off that sh*t. If I gotta be the bad guy for saying what mad people think but are 2 scared 2 say then so be it. At least I’m promoting living & not dying. A lotta rappers have romanticized & glorified drug abuse. That sh*t’s not cool. Peoples lives get ruined from that sh*t. Grow up.”
Overall, it seemed that many fans agreed with the underlying message of the shirt: That overloading on drugs to look cool is not the way to go. At least give Russ points for caring, even if the message gets a little muddled in translation.