Russ’s high-concept “Hard For Me” video looks like something out of a spy thriller. Directed by Joán, the video depicts Russ trying — and failing — to break the female lead out of a transparent cell as a computer screen on the glass warns that the oxygen within is depleting. After the first verse ends with Russ’s female interest lying on the floor after the oxygen runs out, the second verse reverses their roles; now, Russ is the one trapped. However, this time his coldhearted consort simply watches him struggle until his time runs out.
As a metaphor for a one-sided relationship, the video is a fitting reflection of the song’s lyrics, in which Russ recalls the dissolution of his relationship with a lover with whom he can’t see eye-to-eye. “Tired of goin’ hard for people who don’t go hard for me,” he croons on the hook. “If I go hard for you, please go hard for me.”
The video is Russ’s third of 2021, although the song itself dates back to December of 2020. It seems that after focusing on bars-first battle raps on his Chomp EP, he’s returning to emotionally vulnerable fare like “Hard For Me” and “Misunderstood,” as well as celebratory anthems such as “Ugly” with Lil Baby.
Watch the “Hard For Me” video above.