Russ pours his heart out early and often in “SANTIAGO.”




5. Tunnel Vision (Ft. Bibi Bourelly)

“Tunnel Vision” gives the sensation of stepping into a church after your soul has been rejuvenated.

In an ideal scenario, “Tunnel Vision” would serve as the outro to SANTIAGO. Russ and Bibi Bourelly’s lyrics, which revolve around overcoming inner struggles and discovering self-love, resonate as powerful messages to conclude the album with. Both skilled artists strike an emotional chord with their heartfelt vocals and resolute rapping. This track encapsulates a sense of liberation and will deliver a profound sense of catharsis to listeners.



4. Adventure

Isn’t it interesting how the word “Adventure” carries a more negative implication nowadays?

Consider this: How often have you heard someone say, “This is going to be an adventure” when describing a challenging situation they’re about to face? Or perhaps, how frequently have you heard someone remark, “It was quite an adventure trying to get my two-year-old son to sit down?” We should revisit the time when adventures were synonymous with excitement and positivity.

Anyway, I connect with “Adventure” on a deep level. In the song, Russ clarifies that he’s not “lost;” he’s actually on a journey of discovery. To put it differently, he’s determined to uncover the silver lining amidst the challenges he’s encountered in recent years. As the music unfolds, we’re treated to a mix of captivating, authentic production and heartfelt vocals. And when it comes to Russ’ raps, which are delivered using energetic flows, they hit harder than the black people in Alabama.



3. Empty

How “Empty” infuses a positive energy into the album, following the emotionally charged “No More,” is truly noteworthy (You had to be there).

However, it’s important to note that “Empty” isn’t entirely devoid of negativity. Through the song, Russ openly shares that the sense of emptiness he has grappled with over the past few years has proven to be harder to shake than Sauce Garnder. His vocals carry a weight that suggests he is teetering on the edge of succumbing to his inner turmoil. Fortunately, the track boasts an irresistible, captivating chorus and lively, upbeat production.



2. No More

I know this sounds clich√© like s**t, but they don’t make songs like “No More” anymore.

In “No More,” Russ opens up about the experience of falling out of love, grappling with depression, and yearning for happiness. It’s conceivable that his sense of despair is rooted in the challenges he faces as an artist. Notably, what sets this song apart is the fact that Russ paused one of his tours to address his mental health struggles.

The rawness of “No More” is simply undeniable. To begin with, it boasts poignant production infused with emotional resonance and impactful guitar licks. As for Russ, his vocal delivery throughout the track authentically conveys a sense of imminent emotional collapse, akin to someone who has just discovered they’ve invested in one of DJ Envy’s fake-ass business ventures.



1. Oasis (ft. Jhene Aiko)

Jhene Aiko delivers my favorite hook on this album.

Has a hook ever swept you into a sense of liberation, freedom, and revitalization? I assure you that the captivating chorus Jhene offers in “Oasis” will undoubtedly evoke these sentiments within you. Meanwhile, Russ fearlessly confronts the age-old fallacy that material wealth, alcohol, and companionship can bestow genuine happiness. Beyond the track’s remarkable emotional resonance, I also appreciate its conventional composition: two rap verses delivered by the rapper, complemented by a single hook sung by the guest vocalist. It may seem audacious to mention, but have you ever encountered the disarray of a Lonely Destroy song?


1. See You Soon (N/A)

2. Smooth (4/5)

3. Fraud (4/5)

4. No More (4/5)

5. Empty (4/5)

6. I Love The Boy (4/5)

7. Enough (4/5)

8. Adventure (4/5)

9. Oasis (Ft. Jhene Aiko) (5/5)

10. Fatima (4/5)

11. Distracted (4/5)

12. Tunnel Vision (4/5)

13. The Wind (3.5/5)




Isn’t it intriguing how Russ and Russell Westbrook share remarkable similarities? Just as Russell Westbrook showcases his versatility on the NBA court by dishing out assists, snagging rebounds, and scoring points, Russ, the musician, demonstrates his multifaceted talents in delivering potent vocal performances, exceptional production, and impactful raps throughout his music as evident in SANTIAGO. While his rap verses often serve as a platform for conveying lessons and addressing real-life issues, Russ embraces his singing side to tap into his deepest emotions. The unpredictable interplay of these two styles keeps listeners engaged and intrigued.

Both Russell Westbrook and Russ wear their emotions openly. In SANTIAGO, Russ openly bares his soul, reflecting on moments of defeat, resilience, frustration, and feeling underappreciated. The album becomes a journey through his emotional landscape, with passionate rapping and singing reflecting the various shades of his experiences.

Russell Westbrook and Russ exude confidence and a steadfast belief in their abilities. However, recent years have brought humbling experiences for both. While Westbrook accepted a bench role, Russ grappled with the realities of being a prominent rapper. SANTIAGO sees Russ shifting focus from the allure of being an MVP candidate to prioritizing self-love and purpose.

Another shared trait is their penchant for taking matters into their own hands. SANTIAGO boasts no guest features and is predominantly produced by Russ himself. This arrangement provides an unfiltered portrayal of the New Jersey artist, although it occasionally leaves some songs feeling less fulfilled. Nevertheless, the album leaves an indelible imprint, deepening our understanding of Russ.

Russell Westbrook and Russ both seem to fly under the radar of full appreciation. When Russell Westbrook eventually retires, his legacy as a first-ballot hall of famer is assured. Similarly, when Russ concludes his musical journey, he’s likely to be remembered as one of the most authentic and successful rappers in history, evident from his impressive record sales and tour numbers. The lesson here is to recognize and value these Russes’ unique contributions while they continue to grace us with their presence.

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