In Instagram screenshots captured by TMZ, the rapper, legally known as Russell James Vitale, disclosed his thoughts on the artists claiming they’ve been blackballed within the music industry. The lengthy post found the proud independent rapper questioning what it means to be blackballed in an industry where artists are more connected to their fans than ever.
“No artist is blackballed unless they cut off your Wi-Fi, remove your social media accounts, and take your music off all the streaming platforms,” Russ expressed on his Instagram story. “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.
“Fans will listen to your music, or they won’t. It’s that simple,” he continued. “Also, if you are 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?”
Vitale, 30, also discussed what it means to stop allowing “DSPs to hold so much power” over the artists’ livelihood.
“We’re giving too much credit and power to the DSPs and not enough power to us (the artists) and the fans,” Russ said. “I know for me, as long as I can tell my fans I’m puttin out music, I’m straight. I’m not entitled to any playlists nor do I NEED them for my fans to listen to me. That’s why they’re my FANS.”
The Diemon Records founder’s post arrives in the aftermath of DaBaby declaring he’s been blackballed after his latest album, Baby on Baby 2, only sold around 13-16K in its first week, a drastic drop from previous sales.
Many figures like DJ Akademiks, Meek Mill, and Boosie Badazz agreed with the rapper, declaring he has been blackballed for his past actions.
However, DaBaby’s fall from grace may have begun in 2021 when he made homophobic remarks during his Rolling Loud performance. Additionally, he would lose sponsorships due to his rhetoric and be pulled from numerous festivals in the aftermath.