In an Instagram post on Monday, Russ shared his thoughts on artists who claimed to be blackballed.
“I just wanna give my two cents on something in my industry. No artist is blackballed,” Russ wrote. “Unless they cut off your Wi-Fi, remove your social media accounts, and take your music off all the streaming platforms, you are not blackballed. If you are famous and can still tell your fans, ‘hey, I’m putting out music,’ then you’re not blackballed.”
His comments are on par with the recent conversation surrounding the DaBaby, who had alleged he had been blackballed from the industry after news of his first-week sales had been released for his latest project, Baby On Baby 2.
He continued: “Fans will listen to your music, or they won’t. It’s that simple. Also, if you’re a famous artist and you NEED playlists in order for people to listen to your music, how real are your fans? Why don’t they support you regardless? We’re giving too much credit and power to DSPs and not enough power to us (the artists) and the fans.”
Russ disagrees artists can be blackballed: "Fans will listen or they won’t"https://t.co/FoC4kxW3kg pic.twitter.com/QWBGeM6szq
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) October 3, 2022
The release was only projected to move 16,000 units — a huge drop in comparison to his previous solo album, Blame It On Baby, which he released in 2020. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, moving nearly 124,000 album-equivalent units per Billboard.
Funny enough, right before this statement, DaBaby seemed unbothered with album numbers.
“Not bad for da BlackBalled Baby,” the rapper wrote on his Instagram Stories.
Even DJ Akademiks also chimed in on the conversation, citing that Apple Music’s Ebro Darden was responsible.
“Da Baby last project in 2020 ‘Blame it on Baby’ sold 124K first week,” Akademics wrote on Twitter. “His new project, after being blackballed by Ebro, Apple Music, is scheduled to do less than 20K. Now yall understand my Ebro convo…. DSPs control who is hot and who is not. Fall out of favor with them… UR DONE.”
Da Baby last project in 2020 'Blame it on Baby' sold 124K first week. His new project after being blackballed by Ebro, Apple Music is scheduled to do less than 20K. Now yall understand my Ebro convo…. DSPs control who is hot and who is not. Fall out of favor with them.. UR DONE
— DJ Akademiks (@Akademiks) September 28, 2022
Ebro responded noting that Apple Music is hardly the only DSP. “Apple Music is not the only platform. Based on this dummy’s logic, Da Baby should be doing well on the platform HE works for. Is it?”
Apple Music is not the only platform.
Based on this dummy’s logic, Da Baby should be doing well on the platform HE works for. Is it?
— Kojo Ebro Odogwu (@oldmanebro) September 29, 2022