Rapper/producer Russ dropped his Santiago album on August 18. The reported first-week sales for the studio LP have the 30-year-old Diemon collective member blasting the music industry.
Santiago debuted at No. 12 on the latest Billboard 200 chart by amassing 42,000 units in its opening week of release. Russ took to the X platform to present unverifiable theories about why the project did not cross the 50K mark.
“Billboard & Luminate took away ANOTHER 4,000 of my REAL sales over the weekend making that 10,000 sales total they took away from me,” tweeted Russ, currently an independent artist, on August 28.
He added, “While allowing major labels to fake their streams and sales and do monopolistic merch bundles (only major labels are allowed to do merch bundles because the only approved vendor is a major label vendor). These numbers and charts are made up. The impact however is not.”
“I dedicated my life to music and spreading a message and corrupt corporations are stealing and sabotaging from me and I’m supposed to shut up because overall my life is good?” posted Russ. “Y’all can tuck your tail if you want. I’m not. I’m speaking up for the artists who can’t.”
Previously, Russ made it into the Billboard 200’s Top 10 region three times. 2017’s There’s Really a Wolf peaked at No. 7. He also scored two No. 4 albums with Zoo in 2018 and Shake the Snow Globe in 2020. All of those studio LPs came out via Columbia Records.