New Jersey rapper Russ is known for sharing controversial opinions in interviews but the thing that makes his views so interesting is that he always seems at least a little bit right. That would seem to be the case in one of his latest media appearances, as he asserted his belief that Travis Scott will “pioneer” a shift in hip-hop to the hosts of The Rap Pack podcast. That’s no surprise to anyone who’s seen the massive impact of Travis Scott show recently, but the way Russ says Travis will change the game is startling.
According to Russ, Travis will “outsell one of the Big Three” of hip-hop — Drake, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar — to lead the shift away from artists who can do “a four-minute Funk Flex freestyle” to more artists like Travis, who “makes fire music.” For what it’s worth, that prediction has already come true: Travis’ last album, Astroworld, was certified three times platinum, while J. Cole’s most recent solo release, KOD, was only certified platinum. There was even a stark difference in the two albums’ respective first-week sales: Travis debuted at No. 1 with 537,000 album-equivalent units, while Cole also debuted at No. 1 that same year with 397,000 sold.
However, fans of traditional, bars-first hip-hop shouldn’t worry that Russ’ vision of rap’s future is apocalyptic; he also points out that artists like himself, JID, and YBN Cordae will carry that torch just fine.
Watch the full interview above.