“Sometimes it’s better to burn out than fade away.” So says Russ, who took rap fans to task in a video interview with Montreality today after he was asked about DMX calling the disgraced rapper a “legend” and “one of the best creative minds.” This led to a lengthy rant (and really, does Russ have any other kind?) about how fans don’t respect iconic performers after they age out of popularity.
Using Biggie and Tupac as an example, he asks, “What happens if Tupac and Biggie lived to be 40? Y’all probably would be sleeping on them!” He further elaborates, “If you look at the trend of hip-hop, look how motherf*ckers try to play Lil Wayne! …(Michael Jackson) was the butt of the joke! Y’all wanna wait ’til legends die before you start saying, ‘Oh, don’t you ever say anything about him’ … Why don’t you just f*ck with them when they’re alive?”
Of his meeting with J. Cole, he snapped back at snarky internet commenters as well. “There was a comment [that said], ‘Why does it look like Russ is a fan that just met his idol?’ Because that’s what it was! I gotta wait for him to die?”
To be fair, the outspoken, DIY rapper has a point. Even in blogging, there is no traffic like the traffic that comes with a death announcement or a eulogy. Rap fans especially are big on needling artists online (see: Bow Wow’s comments section on Instagram), but quick to pour out tributes and effusive praise when someone like Prodigy passes. Russ himself has been a target as well, such as the roasting he received for his anti-drug T-shirt, so perhaps he’s right. Maybe we should all take a page from Jay-Z’s book and toast our favorites while they’re still around to appreciate it.
Russ also spoke about his influences, jobs he had as a teenager, and his message for the youth. Watch the full video below.