Atlanta rapper Russ Vitale is known for being outspoken about a number of subjects from hip-hop’s perceived substance abuse problem to his own reception in hip-hop as a white rapper, but mainly, he’s accumulated a lot of attention — and ridicule — for trumpeting his DIY success since entering the music game with his first self-produced album in 2011. Recently, one of his first major singles, “Ain’t Nobody Takin’ My Baby,” crossed the million sold benchmark, landing him his first platinum certification from the RIAA for his independently produced singles.
While celebrating the success, he launched into one of his signature Twitter threads to extol the virtues of artist resource Tunecore, which he says can make artists “millions upon millions of dollars.” Breaking down major label contracts and the profit splits new artists can expect to pay out, he provided a succinct summation of exactly how artists can avoid some of the biggest pitfalls of the industry and highlighted ownership as the path to financial stability for artists. “There’s still money in selling music,” he wrote. “You just have to own it.”
The timing is especially fortuitous with De La Soul’s ongoing fight with Tommy Boy Records and other artists’ advocacy for artist rights making headlines lately. Despite his rough-edged messaging, Russ’s math does look sound, as does his overall advice, especially when he warns about the importance of taxes. If he could find a way to share this information in a less haughty-seeming fashion (you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, Russell), he could find himself at the forefront of an industry-wide revolution. See the full tweet thread below.