For a certain generation of hip-hop heads, BET’s Rap City (and later, Rap City: Tha Basement) were staples in their diet of new rap videos. New Jersey rapper Russ, who is promoting a star-studded new EP titled Chomp, resurrects the nostalgic Basement Booth set — complete with a cameo from Big Tigger(!) — for his first video from the EP, “Who Wants What” featuring Ab-Soul.
Russ provides a nostalgic, crate-digging beat reminiscent of the early ’90s New York hip-hop heyday as he and Ab-Soul roam the booth with a classic set-up from Big Tigger. During his verse, Russ throws a subtle salute to Cam’ron, whose money-counting antics during his 2001 freestyle became a fan-favorite and a lasting image in the minds of hip-hop fans who continue to share grainy videos of it on social media to this day.
Ab-Soul does what he came to do as well, spitting a ferocious flurry of punchlines that will leave permanent fingerprints on rewind buttons everywhere (I know how dated that reference is but, in this case, it works). The video is also cleverly mixed so that the track continues to play even as we get to listen in to Tigger’s reactions to some of the juicier lines.
Russ teased Chomp via Instagram yesterday, sharing a tracklist that includes Benny The Butcher, Black Thought, Busta Rhymes, DJ Premier, and Kxng Crooked. No release date was shared but such a tape could go a long way toward revamping — or at least justifying — Russ’ holier-than-thou image.
Watch the “Who Wants What” video above.