Rapper and singer Russ delivers a promising debut album with ‘There’s Really a Wolf.’ Russ writes, produces, and engineers the album himself.
“Yeah, one of eleven, yeah, I put out eleven.” Wow, that’s some kind of work ethic, Russ! Russ goes on to say at the end of the opener, “Produced, mixed, mastered, engineered, written by me.” Indeed, the wolf is amongst us – There’s Really a Wolf. There’s Really a Wolf marks the debut album by do-it-yourself, rapper and singer, who has carved his success in the industry slowly but steadily. All in all, the wolf possesses plenty of potential on this featureless, hour-long affair.
#1. “What They Want”
“What They Want” is relatively brief and simplistic with minimal production. Nonetheless, it’s charming, unveiling its rationale for its success. Once more, Russ touts his self-made status – his “start from the bottom”:
“I Been at this shit for nine years, now they start to call / I’m a DIY pioneer, they try to get involved.”
#2. “I’m Here”
“I’m Here” kicks off There’s Really a Wolf with oomph. Russ has an excellent flow going, showcasing aggressiveness and hunger to rule the rap game. The listener gets a glimpse into his self-made persona and feels the vibe that the wolf has arrived. This isn’t the flashiest song, but it’s sound, a characteristic that continues throughout the course of his debut.
#3. “Losin Control”
“Losin Control” marks progression – from the perspective of the girl. A love-oriented joint, she’s finally “fallin’ in love now, losin’ control now.” Russ sings smoothly, particularly on the beautiful chorus:
“She’s fallin’ in love now, losin’ control now / Fightin’ the truth, tryin’ to hide / But I think it’s alright girl / Yeah, I think it’s alright, girl.”
#4. “Cherry Hill”
“Cherry Hill” is one of the more intriguing moments from There’s Really a Wolf. For the first time, Russ exclusively sings, and there’s a more experimental vibe. “Cherry Hill” slackens the pace and eschews the profane. An element of romance rears its head throughout the course of the song. That romance is for music and of course women.
Tie #5 – “The Stakeout” & “MVP”
“The Stakeout” which is a continuation of Russ’ mad hustle. From the jump, he’s fired up:
“Doors are openin’ that were previously locked / Treat this game like any other b**ch, I just need me the top.”
“MVP” concludes the album with a bang, much like how it commenced with “I’m Here.” What’s most impressive about “MVP” is his flow, though the production bangs too.
Ultimately, there’s plenty to like about There’s Really a Wolf. Russ is talented, without question. He has a nice flow as a rapper, a good voice as a singer, and a knack for the boards. His self-made story is impressive as well. It’s a lot of Russ at over an hour, which is mostly good, but sometimes too much.
Gems: “I’m Here,” “The Stakeout,” “Cherry Hill,” “What They Want,” “Losin Control,” “Scared” & “MVP”