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Russ‘s new “Misunderstood” , the New Jersey rapper is cuffed to a chair in an interrogation room and faces down reporters, an angry mob, a ticked-off girlfriend, and ultimately, himself. It’s a powerful visual reflection of the rapper-singer’s internal struggle on the song itself. “You only see pieces that fit your view of me,” he croons on the chorus. “Your mind is made up, my hands are tied / Misunderstood time after time.”

He’s got a decent reason to feel that way after much of his early career was marked by a perception in rap fandom that he’s an egotistical spoilsport. In reality, the truth is much more nuanced, and over time, he’s learned to slow down on the sweeping judgments and let his work — and his bank account — do the talking.

Case in point, in a recent interview, he explained why his career is “pandemic-proof” instead of berating other rappers for not handling their business, and on his Chomp EP last year, he held his own alongside some of rap’s top-tier talent, including Black Thought and Kxng Crooked, then showed off his commercial appeal on tracks with , Kehlani, , and more, proving a little “patience” might have been all he needed all along.

Watch Russ’s “Misunderstood” video above.

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