Album Review: Russ - CHOMP 2
Written By: Mike Double G
Grade = 86% or 4 ️Stars
Track List - 51 minutes
Blue Chip (Feat. Ransom) 3:16 ️
Bucket Hat Low (Feat. Papoose) 2:23 ️
Nothin New (Russ & The Game) 3:46
Salute (Feat. Westside Gunn & Styles P) 4:33
Faith (Russ & Jadakiss) 3:39
Free (Feat. Big K.R.I.T., Snoop Dogg, & DJ Premier) 3:37
Top of the World (Feat. Jay Electronica) 3:19 ️
Note To Self (Russ & Hit-Boy Feat. Big Sean, Wale, & Joey Bada$$) 5:23 ️
Hustler Freestyle 2:03
Distance (Feat. Conway the Machine & Ghostface Killah) 5:07 ️
Get It (Feat. Cyhi The Prynce & Lloyd Banks) 4:49 ️
Enjoy the View (Russ & Mozzy) 4:14
In 2020 Russ released a five song extended play titled CHOMP. Russ is one of few artists who is good at singing, rapping, and producing. On “CHOMP” he made it a point to focus on rap exclusively. The project had features from wordsmiths KXNG Crooked, Benny the Butcher, Busta Rhymes, Black Thought, and Ab-Soul. With the EP receiving mostly positive reviews he decided to make a full length LP titled CHOMP 2. The new project includes some of the best lyricist in the game including Ransom, Papoose, The Game, Jadakiss, Styles P, Westside Gunn, Big K.R.I.T., Snoop Dogg, Jay Electronica, Big Sean, Wale, Joey Bada$$, Conway the Machine, Ghostface Killah, Lloyd Banks, Mozzy, and Cyhi The Prynce. Not only did Russ include some of the best rappers in the game on this project but he also included some of the best producers. Some of those producers include Harry Fraud, DJ Premier, Statik Selektah, The Alchemist, Hit-Boy, and Boi-1da. DJ Premier and The Alchemist were on both “CHOMP” projects. Russ produced three of the five songs on the EP but only 2 of the 14 songs on this project.
“CHOMP 2” had features from 17 rappers and numerous producers worked on the project. The album had 14 songs but only three of them didn’t include a feature. I think Russ went 2 for 3 on these songs. Sheep was a good intro as it set the tone for the rest on the album. He closed out the album with Golden which was a vintage Russ song that included a solid chorus. The one miss was on Hustler Freestyle. The biggest knock on Russ has always been that he’s way too cocky. All rappers should have confidence but his bragging and boasting on his songs have become repetitive and tiring. “Hustler Freestyle” is another example of this. The bars are decent but we’ve heard these some kind of lyrics from Russ way too many times. You would think working with so many great artists would humble Russ but clearly it hasn’t.
Russ may not be the most humble but he is very talented when it comes to making music. Not many can rap, sing, and produce at such a high level. With so many great lyricist on this project you can tell Russ stepped up his game when it came to his pen. The bars on this project were some of his best. His raps were even better then his Chorus’s and usually it is the other way around. Besides his vocals, Russ also did a good job from the producing side of things. The two songs he produced on were Bucket Hat Low (featuring Papoose) and Faith with Jadakiss. He knocked it out of the park with both these records. If I had to pick a favorite I would go with “Bucket Hat Low” which had a faster beat with heavy bass.
Of all the rappers on this album the two guys who impressed me the most were Papoose and Ransom. They might be the least popular but they had two of the strongest verses on the project. The most surprising feature came from Mozzy. He is one of the most underrated rappers in the game so I was happy to see him on this project with so many heavy weights. The most popular artist on this project is Big Sean. For that reason I didn’t want to pick Note To Self as my favorite song but I went with it any way. This is the longest song on the album which also has verses from Wale and Joey Bada$$. Once again Big Sean shines on a Hit-Boy beat. The two recently dropped an EP titled What You Expect which was one of the best Ep’s this year.
Other candidates for best song would be Top of the World and Distance. “Top of the World” was produced by Harry Fraud and includes a verse from Jay Electronica. “Distance” was produced by The Alchemist and has features from Conway the Machine and Ghostface Killah. This was Fraud’s first work on a “CHOMP” project but The Alchemist and Russ are now 2 for 2. The producer who Russ didn’t do justice for was DJ Premier. Inside Job was my least favorite song on “CHOMP” and Free is one of the two misses on this project.
Overall, this was a very good album. Russ deserves credit for being his own A&R as he was able to work some of the best people in the industry. However, sometimes this felt more like a playlist that included Russ rather than a Russ album. His bars were on point but I think he’s saving some of his best hooks for another project. I wouldn’t be surprised if his next album had more R&B and pop on it. I feel like it was important for him to prove himself as a rapper and now that he has he can go back to being a little more flexible. On the album he says he is “the best rapper under 30 and has the best album of the year”. Both are debatable, but as far as this project goes he did come through with another four star album.
Best Song = “Note To Self” (Russ & Hit-Boy Feat. Big Sean, Wale, & Joey Bada$$)
Download: CHOMP 2
#Russ #CHOMP2 #Ransom #Papoose #TheGame #WestsideGunn #StylesP #Jadakiss #BigKRIT #SnoopDogg #DJPremier #JayElectronica #HitBoy #BigSean #Wale #JoeyBadass #ConwaytheMachine #GhostfaceKillah #CyhiThePrynce #LloydBanks #Mozzy #CHOMP #KXNGCrooked #BennytheButcher #BustaRhymes #BlackThought #AbSoul #HarryFraud #StatikSelektah #TheAlchemist #Boi1da #WhatYouExpect