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Russell Young : Show and Prove

From a small town in "Virginia", a place that is non-existent to the hip-hop world's of "Atlanta", "New York", "Miami", or "L.A." comes an artist who to the naked eye is the lesser known of the "Future of Hip-Hop's Next List" is "Russell Young". Strong, witty, clever lyrics, draped over hard hitting southern beats reminiscent of a "Young Jeezy", "Gucci Mane", or "T.I." Song, "Russell Young" is by far one of the most " lyrically Street Savvy" rap artist in the underground today.

Even though he sounds like a lyricist at heart, his music will pretty much be more accepted in "Trap America", because of his long list of "Hood Stories", and "Street Dreams". When listening to some of "Russell Young's" songs it's almost like you are right there in his world which is a very strong concept that alot of artist seem to lack these days. You can feel in his songs the "passion", and "determination" he puts forth in each of his stories. When one of his songs come on you suddenly think that because it is a hard southern beat that he is going to be screaming and hollering all over the track with no conscience, but that's not what happens. What happens is you hear an artist that can sing, which is different besides "Drake" being able to do it. Than after you hear him sing, you are suddenly bombarded by an arsenal of words spitting at you like an "M-16" coming in so many flurries that you have to start the song over again because it is not exactly what you were expecting to hear.

"Russell Young" has just dropped his first single "My Life" produced by "Jus Fresh" off of his highly anticipated album "Finally" which is due to drop winter 09.

As of now "My Life" has been the most added single to college and internet radio. He is getting features on many websites and blogs, as well as interviews from radio stations around the world.

After only taking his music career seriously for 1 year he was nominated the best "Underground Rap Artist" in the south at the "Underground Music Awards Show" in Manhattan New York last summer 2008.

In 2008 Russell Young traveled up and down the southeast region performing at clubs, fashion shows, coffee houses, and open mics showcasing his skills as well as giving away promotional cd's in hopes of building his buzz.

Today Russell Young has over 2 million myspace plays and almost 20,000 friends. His career has been inspired by legendary artist such as "Biggie Smalls", "Big L", "Tupac", "Big Pun", "Jay-Z", and "Nas". He is inspired by these artist because they are true to what they do and never felt they had to break there stride to please anyone.

" It's not fun because you are at the bottom and nobody knows you. When you get on stage everybody's face is blank, waiting for you to mess up. Right now it's show and prove time because I am an underground artist and not a mainstream star. "

What drew you to music?
The "Ready To Die" album by legendary rap artist "Biggie Smalls", when he quoted "Super nintendo, Sega Genesis, when I was dead broke man I couldn't picture this".....That person was me, I mean, i was the one living in the projects as a little boy being raised by my grandmother, her living check to check to support us, 1st and 15th, and not being able to afford those type of material things. When i heard his first album i immediately was able to relate to that. I became a fan, and than the next thing you know I was writing down my everyday life on paper with dreams of one day being able to express my life, my point of view, to the world just like he did. Besides him I loved the old "Jay-Z" "Reasonable Doubt", "In My Life Time", "Streets is Watching", "Blue Print 1", (no disrespect to the new Jay-Z) but the old "Jay-Z" was just amazing, and also I was a die hard "Illmatic" "Nas" and "Tupac" fan, i mean, there lyrical talent was incredible! These are definitely the 4 artists that drew me to the game.

At what age did you decide hip hop was your calling?
That would have to be 1994, I was 14 years old.

Define for your sound?
I think my sound is different. I am not the best singer in the world but i sing good enough to harmonize my hooks. I am very lyrical as far as rapping, because I believe every artist in the game should have lyrical talent instead of just being average. I am a story teller, i like to talk about things i have done in my life, as well as what I have seen in my life. I don't follow the same path as everyone else as far as trying to make a "party/dance song" just to get on the radio, i think that is bogus! I don't think you are being true to yourself and your fans when all you are trying to do is make some corny dance song just to get in the game, for instance, look at all the best rappers to ever be in the game, they never catered to noone, they made songs from the heart, even on there party songs. On June 20th 2009 I was awarded the "Track Of The Day" on "Garageband.com". On the side column in the "Sounds Like Section" it said I sounded like "Tupac". I would have never told anybody that I sounded like tupac but that's what it said, and i will definitely take it for what it's worth, it's a great honor to be compared to one of the greatest rappers of all time!

what artists do you want to work with?

If "Biggie" was alive I would want to work with him, the same as "Tupac". I would love to be in the studio with "Jay-Z" for about a month just to get inside of his head and see how he works because he has a "killer instinct" just like "Biggie", and "Tupac", they all have the antidote to success.

What's the music scene like in Virginia?
Well you know back in the day we had "Ginuiwine", "Missy Elliot", "Timbaland & Magoo", and "The Clipse". We kind of fell off a little bit as far as the mainstream I think. The underground out here is starting to pick up though. We have a lot of companies out here making a lot of noise in the underground right now as far as movements. I think before long if everything keeps pace we will definitely be in the discussion. I know I will anyway!!

As a dude on the come-up how do you see the state of hip hop right now?
I think it's some good music out here and some bad music out here. I think you have some "cry babies" crying about how great the south is doing and than you have the real niggas like "Maino" who is stepping up to the plate as we speak and making hits! I have a lot of respect for that dude, because he incorporated his meaningful content with a downsouth fill, and that is why he gets a lot of love down here in the south. You have to go with the flow, and change ya game up when the time calls, but at the same time you can't forget who you are by falling off course and doing something out of your realm. You have to stay on track no matter how much the game changes. With that said, that's where the bad music comes in, people that can't even dance making dance/party songs, and than when it's time to go on stage they can't even perform the dance they are talking about in there song. To me that is just as fake as a rap artist saying he was a kingpin in his hood and than when you ask somebody about him from his block they say " o naw, that nigga was a poindexter"!!! Ya feel me! As far as the state of hip-hop I believe the artists that are true to the game, lyrically talented, and can paint a picture with there words just like the great artist of the past, will always come out on top, no matter how much "mess" there is in this game.

Do you think anything needs to change?
I think artist who are not keeping it real need to change. If you can't bring it from the heart don't talk about it, if you never did it don't talk about it, if you never seen it don't talk about it, and if you can't do it than don't talk about it! As far as production goes, the beats are bangin! As far as trendsetting, some is corny, and some is poppin!

What are your plans in this hip hop game?
My plans is to make music my full-time gig, record ten albums, tear down shows, leave my print in this game, retire, and enjoy the rest of my life.

where do you see yourself 5 yrs from now?
In 5 years I truly see myself being a household name in every crib across the world. I got a buzz growing right now and i really do believe in time that when people start to pay some hard attention at what I am doing than my name will spread like wild fire. I believe in 5 years I can win a grammy for one of my songs, because everything I got is from the heart.

You traveled up and down the southeast region performing at clubs, etc.. what was that like?
It was a very hard grind! It's not fun because you are at the bottom and nobody knows you. When you get on stage everybody's face is blank, waiting for you to mess up. Right now it's show and prove time because I am an underground artist and not a mainstream star. I have been to shows to see major artist perform and most of them have been terrible performances. They stand on the stage, barely rapping, and you can tell that they don't really care about what they are doing on stage, at least that's what it seems, and still, the fans go crazy anyway. As an underground artist I couldn't do that, I had to spit hard everywhere I went. When I stepped on stage it was quiet, but when I stepped off stage it was loud, everybody asking for your name, where you from, where can they get ya cd at, what is your myspace page, etc.! I did get approached by an a&r from "G-Unit", and "Capitol Records" though. They basically told me to keep doing what I am doing, and also told me some other things that I needed to do as well in order to increase my demand, and there interest in me, which is what I am doing right now, building my buzz on line.

Any last words?
I just want all the fans around the world that is reading this interview to go to my myspace page and hear me out. Feel my beats, my hooks, and my content. My music is real, my music is from the heart. I am from the streets, the gutta, the bottom, and in all my songs you will hear stories about what I have done, been through, and seen in my life!!

You can check out his MUSIC @

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