During the 2010s, Russ Vitale -- a rapper, singer, songwriter, and a producer -- emerged from the Atlanta-area underground with dozens of independent singles and albums, all of which are made freely available as downloads. Inspired by 50 Cent and Eminem, as well as the classic rock he absorbed as a youngster, the New Jersey-born Vitale gradually learned to play several instruments, including guitar, which was taught to him by his father. After a short period of enrollment at Kennesaw State, Vitale established Diemon, a collective and label.
His prolific output switched between swaggering modern hip-hop anthems and woozy R&B-oriented ballads, with relaxed melodic hooks the common element in both modes. He gradually gained a significant following through word of mouth and exposure from alternative weeklies and major rap publications. In 2015 and 2016, his career really picked up with cuts like "Losin Control," "What they want," and "Pull the Trigger," which were among his most popular recordings to that point. Russ signed to Columbia Records in 2017 and released his major-label debut, There's Really a Wolf.
The album served as the perfect showcase for his DIY approach with all 20 of its songs having been written, produced, mixed, mastered and engineered just by him. It includes Russ's first two Hot 100 hits, the double platinum-certified "What they Want" and double platinum success "Losin Control." The popularity of the album helped Russ surpass 1.1 billion audio streams in the U.S. in 2017, making him one of Nielsen Music's 30 most streamed artists of the year. This placed him above a number of superstar acts, including Beyonce, Chance The Rapper, Coldplay, and Childish Gambino. He has now reached 1.3 billion audio streams as well as accumulating 500 million video streams in the U.S.
As the year progressed, Vitale continued to release singles, including "Prosper," "Maybe," and "Lean on You." He continued his singles series into 2018, leading up to the release of his sophomore record, Zoo. Featuring guest appearances from Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg, the album reached the Top Five of the Billboard 200.
Don't miss Russ's electrifying debut!