Atlanta rapper Russ has quickly grown to be one of the most popular artists, but with increased fame has come paranoia.
In an interview with Beats 1 during the release of “Paranoid,” Russ detailed that the death of rapper Nipsey Hustle has sparked some anxiety. Due to people believing he is an industry plant, and some hating his firm stance on drug usage and promotion in hip-hop, many have been quick to judge and hate Russ, which leads him to believe he may face violent confrontations about the matter.
The track itself has a very wavy flow and the hook can instantly catch a listener and take them for a vibe. Russ throws in a hint of tuning halfway through the hook to just shake things up a bit and add in a different sound, but all the vocals on the track are Russ himself.
Russ uses the first verse to tell the story of his paranoia, but verse two uses clever wordplay and references to make the track pop even more. As he brings up vacation and relaxation, Russ gives a nod to Cleveland-native Kid Cudi and his signature humming that fans love so much.
I need to meditate where it’s sunny
And just hum, like Cudi — Russ, “Paranoid”
The verse continues but takes a turn as Russ clearly tenses back up. Despite the need for calmer nerves, he needs to watch his back. Russ ends the verse with quite a clever reference to YG and his third studio album Stay Dangerous, which released on August 3, 2018.
I be ridin’ ’round my town and I don’t feel safe
Let alone when I’m out, let alone out of state
Everybody strapped up, everybody stressed out
I think my nerves are contagious
I’ve been tryna play it cool but deep down I be feelin’ like YG, bitch stay dangerous
— Russ, “Paranoid”
“Paranoid” is simply another chart-attacking song from the master of singles himself. It is rare in this digital age to find artists that have control over their own brand and are willing to just release music whenever they want and on a routine basis, but Russ is there to fill that void. While listeners wait for the next single or project to be released, this song will certainly remain on repeat.