– Episode, hip hop superstar Russ is in the building. (hip hop music) Hey everybody, this is Gary Vay-ner-chuk episode 265 of The #AskGaryVee Show, and the amount of music I consume from the man that is
sitting across from me right now should be illegal. I am, the amount, the way I play music, I play it so, I play it out. I once listened to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony 1st Of Tha Month (“1st Of Tha Month” by
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony) ♪ First of the month, to get it ♪ – Eight thousand times in a row – [Russ] That’s amazing. – Russ is in the building – Yahh
– Superstar (bell ding) I love the stories this man tells, I’m excited you’re on the show. – Thank you. Thank you for having me.
– We got to chop it up with dinner the other night
– [Russ] Yeah yeah yeah – You and your crew. I loved it. – Yeah
– I hope you guys enjoyed it. Andy got real sick. Threw up all over his fuckin’ face. – Really! – Yeah. – From the food or from liquor? – He literally wasn’t at work yesterday which is unheard of. He was dead. Andy?
(laughs) Now you’re back. – Was that from the sushi? – [Andy] It had to have been, it was a great night, come home, laid in my bed two minutes, in the bathroom for the next seven hours. – So instead of talking about a ton of throwing up and
things of that nature, Russ, for the Vayner Nation
that’s watching right now, let’s go into the origin story, right? – [Russ] Okay.
– Give us a little bit about who you are, what you’re about, what you’re up to these days, and then Facebook, if
you’re watching right now, put in your phone numbers, we’re gonna allow you
to call in and talk to me and Russ in a minute, but first I’m gonna
start with you, my man. Why do you tell ’em a
little bit about yourself. – I mean this is like a real come up. You know what I mean? This is 11 projects dropped and then 98 songs on Soundcloud dropped and then the debut album so it was like really really long process to kinda get to the starting line. – Yes. – So, it just feels, feels long overdue, but it feels like a blessing because it feels like it’s the platform I always wanted to start fucking shit up. – [Gary] Yes, the music world. – Yeah. – Specifically hip hop.
– [Russ] Absolutely. – So take me all the way back, where were you born? – I was born in New Jersey. Secaucus.
– [Gary] Yes. Jersey in the house! I knew I wanted that part in, but take us through that progression. Bounce around a little bit or ended up in Atlanta?
– Yeah. My mom and dad were like, my mom was born in Brooklyn, my dad was born in Jersey. They lived their whole 20’s everything up north. I moved out when I was a baby, but still kinda like raised with that Northern mindset, kinda. So I moved to North Carolina, then to Kentucky, then
back to North Carolina, then Georgia. I did my formative years, my 12 through now in Atlanta. – [Gary] Yeah.
– Yeah. – With a little bit of
that East Coast flavor. – Right. – And so when did the hip hop bug kinda first catch you? When did you realize
– Super early. When I was like seven. I remember listening to
Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, and Eminem. And I had a notebook that I would write raps in that were just ridiculous raps. (laughs) – I saw a girl, and
she’s gonna make me hurl, shit like that?
– Yeah, yeah. Ridiculous stuff. And I was, like, impersonating 50 Cent. You know what I’m sayin’? I was trying to say
that I was from Queens. All this crazy stuff. (laughs) And I would stand in the living room, and perform the raps for my brother who – [Gary] Who’s older? – Yeah, my older brother. Think that was really the
inception of everything. – And then what happened? You get in Atlanta, you get settled in and what, you’re always just into music? Are you into sports, you into other shit? Comic books, or what are you into? – Yeah I was always playing basketball my whole life. And I think basketball and hip hop is kinda synonymous. There’s a lot of parallels. I moved to Atlanta and
it was a weird thing because I was coming from North Carolina where surprisingly, it was actually way more open minded than where I was at in Atlanta. I was going to school in North Carolina with And 1 basketball clothes on, Jordans, and the earring in when I was 11. Right? And I moved to Atlanta, and it was the first time
I heard the term ‘wigger’. And I was like, what is, what? – [Gary] Yep. – So I was naturally, I’m 12, I’m the new kid, I’m like, yo. People have their cliques, they’re about to go into high school, and out of social survival, I was like, a’ight, let
me ditch all this shit. – [Gary] Interesting. – Let me put on what y’all got on. – Interesting.
– You know what I’m saying? – Yeah, of course. – Social survival shit.
– I get it! – So, I did that but then I was still going home and making beats. You know what I’m saying? So, after I left high school, I kinda went back to where I was at. – So your high school years, you kind of, just – It was like a shell of myself. – Interesting. – Yeah but I did that to make it through. – It makes sense. It’s funny, I don’t think
enough people talk about that. – [Russ] Yeah. – First of all I’m thrilled
that you shared that and I think it’s something that to bring into my world and
the show we’re on here, so many people right now are in jobs or went to good schools, my version of what you
were just talking about is the kids that were entrepreneurs, that when I grew up, went into good schools, ’cause that was the move. It wasn’t the move of when I was a kid, it wasn’t cool to be an entrepreneur! – Right. – It meant you were a fuckin’ loser! Means that you weren’t good enough to go into a good college! – Yeah. – And I watched a lot of people, because I was always purebred and in it, conform into the school system even though I know they got a bigger high of selling stuff, or
trying to build something and it’s just an interesting parallel. – Yeah, I think, I’m not ashamed of any of that ’cause it was all necessary for the growth and part of the process but yeah, I mean, – [Gary] I get it. – It was like, if you
look at pictures from me in high school you’re gonna be like, the fuck?
– [Gary] Yeah. – Polo shirt and you know, whatever, I never did the Sperry shit ’cause that was just ridiculous but (Gary laughs) but, you know, I was doing that like I said ’cause I was the new kid and I was trying to – [Gary] I get it, I get it. What about Why do you think I like
your music so much? Now that you’ve gotten
to know me a little bit. I wanted to
– [Russ] I think the message, 100 percent, which is just like, fuck it, do it. (laughs) Know what I’m sayin’? – [Gary] Of course I
know what you’re sayin’. – Yeah. – I also, for me, just like the chip on the shoulder thing. – Yeah. – Any time, the current Warner line, your grandfather rolling in his grave, the stuff that you talk about, that’s what I would, it connects with me. Do you get concerned, or how do you think about what you’re going through now, right? When Andy first brought you up two years ago, you were coming up, you were coming up, you were clearly at a different level, and well on your way to the next level. Do you worry that a lot of your engine is the chip, is the ‘fuck it, I’m gonna do it myself’? I did it myself, fuck
you, you passed on me? Do you worry that this making it now and the next version of you making it – Yeah. – Takes some of that
away and can change shit? – No because it’s not being driven by an external force, it’s
more so being driven by I have to prove it to myself. – Yeah. – I need to get a Grammy, not to prove to y’all
that I can get a Grammy, I need to prove to myself
that I can get a Grammy. – And as a young guy, you’re about to turn 25. – Yeah. – Do you think about the world changing, whereas a Grammy 15 years ago or I think about this a lot, so I talk about ‘I’m gonna
buy the New York Jets’. – [Russ] Yeah. – But then sometimes I’m like, man, fuck that, I’m gonna buy four eSports teams and that’s gonna be the NFL in 20 years – [Russ] Yeah. – Do you think about things, like a Grammy that way? I’ve been curious to ask artists about – [Russ] Like, is the value still there? – Yeah, I get it, when you were 12, I’m gonna win a Grammy, and then you wake up and you’re 25 and you’re like, is the Grammy the same shit that it was when I was 12?
– Yeah. – Do you think about that stuff? – Sometimes but then you still want to kind of fulfill that childhood fantasy, you know what I’m saying?
– Even for your parents kind of stuff? I do that stuff for my parents sometimes. I want to be on magazine covers, kind of weirdly more, ’cause
I know my Mom is smiling cheek to cheek. – Yeah. Yeah, some shit, but a lot of it, bro, a lot of it is just
intrinsic motivation of yo, I gotta do this
shit to prove to myself. You know what I’m sayin’? That’s why I didn’t lose steam when shit got poppin’, that’s why I still kinda have the same mentalities because this isn’t even like, even as much as has been accomplished, this is not even – [Gary] You haven’t even started. – Yeah. – You know it’s funny, you saying that and I had a I did a podcast yesterday, Paul, his podcast and we basically talked about
competitiveness the whole time, and it was funny ’cause I was doing his podcast talking only about he’s asking me deep into my competitiveness and now sitting here with you thinking about the dinner the other night, that was my favorite part, I’m like, he’s just competitive. – Yes, super competitive. – I don’t know, did you cry when you lost at basketball when you were 8 or 9? – Probably, yeah. – I used to cry all the time anytime I lost at anything, nobody wanted to play with me because either I won, or if I lost, I cried so much it was just awkward. (laughs) – And the thing with me, like, – Let’s get our Facebook, put in your phone numbers, we’re gonna take the
first call in a minute. We’re here with Russ.
– I would always play basketball against my brother and I was so competitive, he
wasn’t that competitive and my mom would be sanctioning this shit, she like, ‘chill out,
it’s not that serious, ‘you don’t have to be so competitive.’ It’s like, I don’t care if it’s just like a game, if we’re just playing fucking horseshoes in the backyard! I have to win the fuckin’ game. – Yeah to me the worst people on Earth are the people who want you to chill out when you’re competing. – [Russ] Yeah. – I hate that shit so much. Like it’s not that serious. For you, fuckface! (laughs) For me this is fuckin’ life, this ping pong match is
my fuckin’ life right now! (laughs) – [Russ] I know, that’s
literally how I am. – That’s where I’m at with that! Alright, who we got first, Andy? – [Andy] John. – Jon.
(phone rings) Jon from where? – [Andy] Minnesota. – Alright, we’re gonna get to Jon in Minnesota.
– [Russ] Cool. – We’ll see what he has to say about entrepreneurship in music, we’ll see what he’s up with. You know what I mean, though? That ping pong match, fuck it, I want to win this more than fuckin’ anything! – Literally it’s like the fucking World Championship at all times. – Jon, don’t miss your moment. (on phone)
– [Jon] Hello? – Jon, this is Gary Vaynerchuk, you’re on the #AskGaryVee Show with Russ! – [Jon] No shit! – Yes sir! Yes sir! – [Jon] What is up?! – Life is good, what’s
your question, my man? – [Jon] Alright, so, this is for both you guys. So what’s the number one thing you wish you knew when you’re starting out so I’m 18, and what is the biggest lesson you learned when you got on the new level? – Cool. Russ? – What’s the biggest lesson I learned? To follow your gut. To always just follow your gut, you know what I’m sayin’? A lot of shit is gonna distract you. – There’s opinions that you may look up to when you first go into it, but you realize they don’t know shit. – Absolutely, follow your intuition. Listen to your gut, it’s never wrong. And it knows what the fuck you want before you do. – For me to answer the
first part of your question, the one thing I wish I knew when I was starting out is the thing that I preach to you guys all the time, and even
though I believed it religiously at the time, even though I was 100 on it, I would have been 110 on
it, which is patience. – Facts, that’s a big one. – When you’re hungry, when you’re 18, when you want to be the
biggest in the world, when you want to be the
biggest in the world, it’s patience. I’m 41, right? About to turn 42 in November. So it’s not as, I don’t know if you play this game John, is it? John I don’t know if you play this game. When I was 18, John, this
is what I would play. I’m like, okay, I’m 18. And in 18 years, I’m gonna be 36. That’s young as shit, I have my whole life in front
– [Jon] Yes. – Everything I just lived I have all that time in front of me, and I’m still gonna be 36. And I would do that literally, literally. Even at 30, I remember doing it, I’m like, fuck, I’ve done a lot already, Wine Library was already
big and everything, I kind of made it a little bit. And I’ve got my whole life, and I’m gonna be 60 which is old, but not fuckin’ dead yet. (laughs) But now I’m 41, and I’m like, okay, I’ve lived this whole life, in 41 I’m gonna be 82. I’m like, mmm, 82’s a little and so for me, even with that, even with the game that I’ve played my whole life about doubling up my number, to make me realize how
much time I still had, so fuckin’ be patient. Do the right thing. Shortcuts kill you, do it right. Even now, even though that
doesn’t sound as good, – [Russ] Yeah. – I still do it. The fact that you’re 18, Jon, which means double your age, you’re still five years younger than me, that’s fucking insane. And the thing is, you are so quick to be put on, to showboat, to win, for yourself, for the world, whatever it may look like, it usually leads to the move that keeps you away from winning. – [Jon] Awesome. – The shortcuts – [Jon] I just wanna say thanks. – Yeah, my pleasure, man. – [Jon] I wanna say thanks, I’ve been on you for like two years, and you’ve definitely
helped out with my business and everything, so. And Russ, I’ve been with
you for about a year or so. – Thank you, bro. – We appreciate it man. Let’s get a bunch of calls in ’cause it’s hard to get to Russ. People can get at me, but (laughs) Russ is tricky, he’s cool. So, Russ
(laughs) where are you at in your
patience world, right? – That’s something that I learned heavy ’cause I used to get fuckin’ beat myself up. Why the fuck isn’t this happening, why isn’t this happening? But then, you realize when whatever that thing that you were frustrated that wasn’t happening, when that thing does happen, you’re like, oh, – [Gary] Right, those are the pieces.
– I’m so glad it finally happened now and not back then. – Which song did you put out before it happened, or
in the earliest days, was the most that you
and your crew were like, this is gonna, this fuckin’ Friday, this is gonna be it?! Which, I mean you probably
did that every week, knowing you,
– [Russ] Yes, literally. – ’cause I do it every, literally every time I go onstage, I’m like, I’m gonna say something in this keynote that’s gonna be watched 800 million times on Facebook. I literally say it! Shit never happened. But, but I feel it every time! I feel it every time. You know, it’s funny, ’cause
I’m asking myself that. There is a keynote or two ago, not too long ago, I’m trying to think, somewhere, something. Do you have one song that you were like, just more than the others, and it didn’t happen? – No. Every song I literally thought was gonna be
(laughs) the biggest song in the entire world. (laughs) – [Gary] Yeah, I totally get it, man. It makes so much sense to me. Talk to me about how you, I know how I view hip hop. I’ve said a bunch. Hip hop rules the world, it’s the cultural seed.
(phone rings) We’re gonna answer this question but I’m gonna ask you how you
think about entrepreneurship, from your perspective this way, versus my way, you know what I mean? – [Man] Ashley. – Ashley? Alright, Ashley’s about
to get real excited. (phone rings) Ashley, don’t miss your shot. (phone rings) Ashley, Ashley, Ashley. (on phone)
– [Ashley] Hello. – Ashley, this is Gary Vee, you’re on the #AskGaryVee Show with Russ! – [Ashley] Hi Russ, how are you? Hi, Gary. – I’m amazing, how are you?
– Hi Ash! How you doing? – [Ashley] I’m doing good! – What’s your question? – [Ashley] This is awesome. (phone distorting) – Ashley, Ash real quick, your phone
chopped up a little bit, can you get into a better spot? – [Ashley] Sure, hold on. – You got it. Of course, you so Ashley, by the way, your composure is incredible!
– Astounding. (laughs) – [Ashley] Thank you!
– What’s your question? – [Ashley] So I am from Albany, New York. And I guess my question for you, Russ, is what has been your best experience with the music industry as
far as a concert promoter? And what made that
promoter stand out for you and what can I take from that to make my concert a great experience? – I always like the promoters
who were super tangible and really, they were personal with you and they really felt, it felt like they care
and they were hands on. If there was an issue, they weren’t like, ‘eh, fuck off, good luck.’ You know what I mean? They really gave a shit. Everything was run smooth,
it was professional. But it’s always been the
people that I actually meet. A lot of promoters, they don’t even, they maybe shake your hand once at the end of the night and say thank you but that’s it. You know what I’m saying? But there was a promoter
in Albuquerque I think that super epic, he was just really hands
on with everything, I could tell he cared, so you just gotta show ’em that you care! – [Ashley] Awesome. Thank you. – Ash, Ash – [Ashley] Yes. – Ash, my favorite book I ever wrote was called Thank You Economy. And in there, you like that, Russ? (laughs) In there, I talked about something that nobody ever tweets or talks about, and I still think it’s my number one move. And I think you can leave with it. Everybody’s super nice and accommodating and caring before the show. What if you booked Russ, and then five months later, just sent him his favorite candy or flowers or a note and says, “I was just thinking back to “when you performed up here in Albany, “I really appreciate you
giving our region a shot. “We loved you.” Everybody does everything up front. Everybody’s giving flowers and jewelry. It’s post-game. It’s when you’ve been
married for 13 years. It’s after the fact. Nobody is surprised and delighting and delivering when
it’s after it happened. But what happens is, when Russ is at a festival, hanging with seven, 12 other artists that are on the come up doing their thing, and they’re just kinda shootin’ the shit, and randomly, he drops how
you did something like that, you know how things come up, then all of a sudden
everybody’s paying attention. When you do something with no expectation in return, with no obvious short term ROI, there’s always far greater impact. It’s one thing if you
get your girl flowers on Valentine’s Day. It’s a whole other thing
if you get her flowers on June 19th. – Facts. – [Ashley] Right. Yeah, awesome. – You got it, you got it. – [Ashley] My company is
Delerium Entertainment so if you wouldn’t mind checking us out on social media, that’d be great. – You got it, I love the hustle. Nice little right hook at the end there. Appreciate it. Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship. – Right. – When did that hit your radar? How do you view it? Do you see so much of
it in hip hop and music? Is it been interesting for you to watch managers and artists talk more like businessmen and women
– Yeah. – Not just about the music, how do you feel entrepreneurship is sitting in culture? – Yeah, I mean the entrepreneurship was kinda ingrained in me because Papa, my grandfather passed away. He had his own business. My dad tried to start his own business and I was just kinda raised with that – [Gary] That’s the way you did it. – Boss mentality shit. And then even my friends, we started Diamond which is the company that’s gonna it’s turning into what it’s turning into. So, – What is it turning into? From your perspective right now. – Whole bunch of shit. – It’s the holding company of all things that you’re gonna do in the future? – Yeah I mean, I think at some point it’s literally like it’s a brand that a whole bunch of shit can exist underneath. You know what I’m saying? So it can be a fuckin’ store
where you can sell merch at, it can be a fuckin’ this or that whatever it is
– [Gary] I get it. – You know what I’m saying? – An infrastructure, framework. – Absolutely.
– Who is this? Persia? (on phone)
– [Persia] Yeah, what up, bro? – This Gary V, you’re on the #AskGaryVee Show with Russ. – [Persia] Yeah, that’s crazy as fuck. (laughs) – That was low-key, that was low-key excitement. (laughs) You’re on, my man. Go ahead. – [Persia] It actually
is low-key excitement. (laughs) – I can see it, I can sense it. What’s up? – [Persia] So, first off, I want to say thank you to you, Gary. ‘Cause you used one of my songs in one of the Daily Vee’s. Actually, shout out to D-Rock, that was dope. – Good job, D-Rock. (laughs) – [Persia] But my question is for Russ. I’m an artist too. Actually we have a lot in common, I’m Sicilian, too. Part Sicilian.
– Dope. – [Persia] I’ve been getting by blogs, so fuck them. (laughs) – Legendary. – [Persia] But nah, I’m
dropping songs like every week and stuff like that, just trying to get content out. I was wondering, when you were dropping songs, I’m talking about in the beginning. Not after you already picked up momentum. Was there anything marketing-wise that you did to try and implement to try and bring attention to your songs or anything like that? – Yeah there was. I used to take selfie videos of me in the basement studio, singing along to the
song that I just dropped, and for whatever reason, they would just go crazy on Twitter. And I would do it every fucking week.
– And how many Twitter, I know what he’s asking here. How many at that point Twitter followers did you have just to make it contextual? – Fucking seven thousand, eight thousand. – [Gary] And where are
you at right now, Persia? – [Persia] I’m at 10,600. – Oh yeah.
– Perfect. – 10,000, I remember when I hit 10,000 I was like, yo! We ain’t gonna be broke no more! (laughs) – I love it. – Yeah.
– I love it. Yeah I mean, look, I think what’s interesting about what Russ just said and we were with what, that Backpack Kid yesterday, right? You know that little 15 year old that’s in the Katy Perry, that dancer from Atlanta, too. Nonetheless, both of you just said the same answer which is I have done a
lot of things in my career content-wise that was more methodical about understanding the platforms and the context and the things of that nature. In the new iteration of myself, but my rise in 2006, ’07, ’08 with Wine Library TV, no growth hacking, no smart anything. Just the content. It wasn’t like you got
people to get shouted out, or you figured out the algorithm, or you figured out how to be
the top of the MySpace page like we did, Boyd, when we used to do yourgrills.com Paul Wall shout out. We, we, a lot of people just went on the content. A lot of people think that you can’t win. – [Russ] Right. – When you’ve got 3,000 when you’ve got 200! This kid had 300 followers on Instagram when he put that dance video up! 300! The content works. The problem is, for so
many watching right now, you make the same exact kind of content when the market has told
you it doesn’t work. You’ve got to mix it up, right? For example – [Persia] Right. – We need to make a
black and white episode of Daily Vee. We need to make a silent
film version of Daily Vee. We talk about it! But we haven’t fuckin’ done it! So, even me at the game
that I’m playing at, I’m not experimenting
enough in my opinion. Everybody out there needs to experiment. You just one time did it singing to your own song, and that became the thing that you answered this
man’s question with. – Right. And you know, you got to keep in mind, bro is that, especially with music, people love to see almost the insight to the person who really did the song. So when they see you singing your own shit, what I think, why it resonated, is ’cause it’s like, oh shit! He really did make that song. (laughs) You know what I’m saying? It kinda – People want to see
behind the cloak, right? People want to see the other side. – [Russ] Exactly. – [Persia] About that, though. – Go ahead.
– [Persia] About that with what you just said. So, say you’re doing those videos, right? It wasn’t like a moment where you just all of a sudden, a hundred thousand people
– Nah, nah. – [Persia] Soundcloud, it was gradually – It gradually happened. – [Persia] Doing videos – Yeah. – My man, Persia. My man. Do you understand that
the far majority of people that have a viral hit that they are a one hit wonder, and it’s over? That everybody else Russ and I’s narrative is
far, far, far more the common which is one day at a time, one day at a time, one day at a time, one day at a time, and then 40 fuckin’ years later, you look back and be like, oh shit, we made it. It wasn’t the 10,000 followers on Twitter. – Facts. – [Persia] Right. – Got it? – [Persia] Yeah. Yeah, I appreciate that. Yo, I wanna say Russ, I look forward
to meeting you one day and Gary, if you’re still doing this show by the time that I’m on, I want to be on the show. – My man, I’m gonna do this show for the rest of my fuckin’ life. (laughs) – [Persia] Alright,
well I’ll see you soon. – Can’t wait. Alright, let’s go to the next question. Russ, (laughs) when you think about what’s going on in music and content
and culture right now, this is a left field question. We can talk about this the other night, what’s interesting outside of music what about a product or a TV show or a clothing what’s kind of poppin’ for you? – You know what’s really dope? What’s happening is
Netflix is taking over. Because no one is trying to
watch commercials anymore. Commercials are dead. You know what I’m saying? People can literally watch
Netflix without the shit and Netflix kinda has
the same motto almost that I have which is, throw it all up at once, binge the whole shit, and people will become
a psycho fan instantly. – [Gary] Yep. – It took one season of
Orange Is The New Black for people to be like, oh my God, I’m a huge fan. Same shit with Narcos because once it came out, it wasn’t – Do you mainly only consume Netflix? – For the most part, yeah. ‘Cause you gotta think about it, right? When you watch Narcos or when they release the whole season, you get to watch the entire shit. There’s no more of this, ‘you gotta wait ’til
next week for it to drop, ‘next week for it to drop.’ Which some of that shit still works like Scandal and shit like that but Netflix I feel like, is taking over because you get it all at once, you digest the entire shit, you instantly become so attached to it. And then you’re just waiting for the whole next season. But you’re more excited ’cause when it comes out you’re getting the entire season. So I think they’re killing it. – And do you think about do you think that there’s a white space you know how people listen (phone rings)
obviously you’re a pioneer in dropping the song a week kind of thing. Do you think there’s an opportunity for people to drop an album a week if they can put out that volume? – Yeah, 100 percent. Future just pretty much
did that for three weeks. – [Gary] Yep, yep.
– It crushed. – Who’s this? Luke, it’s Gary V, you’re on the #AskGaryVee Show with Russ! (phone distorts) You’re choppin’ up my man, you there? – [Luke] Yeah, hello? – Yeah, Luke! – [Luke] Yeah, what’s up? (phone distorts) – Fuck. Luke, you’re choppin’ up. We’re gonna try you one more time, get into a different spot. We’re gonna try to go
to Luke one more time. Foods. What are your favorite foods? Italian food, and my mom’s food. – Her cooking it. – [Russ] Yeah. – But you’re on the road a lot. – Yeah, but I just find
the fire Italian spots. I have an uncanny, insane ability to find the best Italian restaurants in every city we go to. – [Gary] Luke! – [Luke] Yo what’s up? – You like Italian food? – [Luke] What’s up? – Do you like Italian food? – [Luke] Yeah I love Italian food. – Love it, well we’re starting off on the right foot. Where are you from? – [Luke] I’m from Rochester, New York. – Love it, what’s your question, my man? – [Luke] Okay let’s see, I got a couple but I’ll just ask one. You always say, you always say to be patient but then you always say that act as if you’re gonna die tomorrow, tonight or whatever. – Macro patience, micro speed. It’s a contradiction, right? – [Luke] Mmhmm. – So, what I mean is, on a global scale, I’m gonna always care about my reputation and my name and how I’m viewed in history, so you have to be thoughtful and patient. But on a daily basis, for 18 hours a day, if I have to go and meet Russ and be out ’til 2 o’clock in the morning like the other night, I’m gonna squeeze in every fuckin’ moment of every day that I can, so on a daily basis, I’m on fire, right? Russ, typical fuckin’ hip hop star, late today. We’re fuckin’ check, fuckin’ maneuvering shit,
(laughs) I’m on calls, they walked in, I’m on big client, they gotta step out, I’m already thinking,
fuck, we gotta finish this real quick, ’cause I got 17 other On a daily basis, I’m on fuckin’ fire! (laughs)
On a macro basis, on a macro basis, I’m super calm. I’m like, it’s just a matter of time. It’s just a matter of time. If today wasn’t the day, if this so yeah, exactly. I absolutely believe in that, and I understand why it’s difficult. It’s why I got to the macro patience, micro speed, day in and day out, like it’s your last day. Year and year out, like it’s forever. – [Luke] Right. Just another point on that – Please. – [Luke] And Russ, I’m
not sure where you’re on on this whole thing but so for example, why would I be patient in the sense with, like, for example, money. If I want to go out and do something kind of materialistic or buy something, why would I wait? Why would I wait, say if I died tomorrow, why wouldn’t I go out and do something where I wouldn’t? You understand what I’m saying? – Of course! You wouldn’t. If you want to go and
buy stuff, that’s fine. The question is what? Right? So I always tell people “what”? One of the biggest mistakes people make is they buy a bullshit version of what they really wanted, and that’s why they got fucked up. You can buy a million dollar home, or if you were patient, and put that money back
into your business, 24 months later, you could have bought a
seven million dollar home, ’cause the equity that you put in and the behavior that you change when you’re sitting with debt changed the business behaviors. If I didn’t buy a fucking house on the Upper East Side, apartment back in the day, I would have probably poured more money into Facebook and Uber, and guess what? I fucked up! (laughs) That’s why. So, so, so here’s why. If you’re building a small, and if you’re on a
smaller scale than I was at that point, if you buy a $10,000 dollar watch, that means you didn’t
spend $10,000 dollars on shout-outs on Instagram to build up your fuckin’ meme page or your fuckin’ brand to then be able to buy
$100,000 dollar watch the next year! – Facts. – So if you really fuckin’ need it, mazel tov! But if you kinda don’t, you need to debate what are
you gonna do with that money? Money, what are you gonna do with it? You can invest it, or you can turn it into
something that depreciates. If you need it to floss and get girls, then mazel tov, do you! But if you don’t, then you need to debate what you can do with that money, to get you more! What do you want? I’m asking, I’m curious! I mean this is an
interesting conversation, what do you want to buy right now? What are you debating? – [Luke] I don’t know,
I guess it’s more like I can either Here’s an example, I can live with my parents, or I can get an apartment. – Why, so let’s play it out. Do you want to get your apartment, do you have a girlfriend? – [Luke] Yeah. – So do you want to get an apartment so you and your girl can have a place and that would be a
better quality of life? – [Luke] So let me give
you a little background. She’s at a college right now, we’re in an incubator
start up program here. – Yeah. – [Luke] I just feel like
it would make more sense, it’s about two hours away. So I think it’d make more sense for our business, obviously the added
bonus of being near her, but the incubator would be an office space available to us right down the street. That’s just kind of the background. – Yeah I mean, to me, I mean there’s so many variables here. I get it. I’m empathetic to that. To me, it depends on how hungry you are about your business. Because if you’re hungry
about your business while your girl’s in college, I take advantage of the fact that your girl’s in college so you can work 24 hours
a day on your business. Because if you move a block away from her, you’re not gonna be spending 24 hours a day on your business, right? – [Luke] True. Yeah. (laughs) – My advice, get rid of the girl. (laughs) Kidding. – Not really, you’re not kidding. But you know what? (crosstalk) Let’s play that out!
– Because people get complacent a lot of
times in relationships. People start gaining weight, they go to shit, their dreams get put on the back burner ’cause they’re too busy
fucking and going on dates! – [Gary] Yep! – You know what I mean? – But you know what’s funny? Russ, coming from Russ’s point of view, and I love it, but it’s an interesting
point of view, right? Because all of this has to be thought out but right now, you’re
trying to scratch an itch of being close to your girl which is super awesome! And I’m sure she’s watching. What’s her name? – [Luke] Sheila. – Sheila’s fuckin’ thrilled right now. – [Russ] She’s very proud of you. – Very proud. But you need to think
about what that all means. And to me, there’s a bunch of variables. We’re not living you guys’ life but clearly, it’s cool to see that you’re going in a direction of investing in that relationship and that’s phenomenal! If this becomes the
mother of your children, there’s a lot that you should
invest in those things. But life’s about choices. I’m also very curious about in life, a lot of times
you’re forced into choices. You’re not forced into
this choice right now. The situation is allowing you to play it out any way you want. Do you believe in the
business that you’ve started? – [Luke] Yeah, absolutely. – Completely, like religiously? – [Luke] Absolutely, yeah, I mean – Then you should stay
in your parent’s home, from my perspective,
because you and Sheila can do real, real good stuff together. Let her focus on her studies, you build your fuckin’ business, you’ll have plenty of times to live in an apartment together. – Facts.
– [Luke] Mmhmm. – But, I could be 100 percent wrong, but that’s my belief. – [Luke] Yeah I mean, I think I agree, I just – You just needed Russ to tell you. (laughs) – You needed me to take care of your girl. (laughs) – I appreciate it, man. Let’s go to one more thing. (laughs) Russ, what else is on your mind? What do you want all these entrepreneurs, young hustlers to be thinking about, to know, how you think about your project? Your new project’s phenomenal! – Thank you.
– How are you thinking about that? – I think people need to
listen to their passion more. And a lot of people say, ‘well, I don’t know what my passion is. ‘how do I find it?’ You find it by paying
attention to yourself. You find it by listening to what makes you the most enthusiastic when you think about it. And then just go towards, start there. But a lot of people are so terrified to face themselves because
of fear of rejection, criticism and weirdo shit.
– I’ve always, I’ve always been asked
that for a decade now. I just thought of something
while you were talking. This is the most cliche thing. He’s 100 percent right. Take one week off from whatever you do, school or work, and do stuff. Whatever the fuck you’re doing, just prove to yourself it’s the shit that you want to be doing. Build around that. – [Russ] If you’re cooking, if you’re working out,
if you’re making music, if you’re trying to sell stuff, I totally agree with you. But it doesn’t feel practical. Everybody’s watching right now, and like, ‘easy for those fucking guys to say’, except not when we did
it 15, 20 years ago. – My thing is like, it’s easier said than done, but if it can be said, it can be done. And the problem is that a lot of people have this terrible seed
planted in their head from society or teachers or whatever the fuck it was saying that certain
passions are unrealistic. So when you actually ask someone, what’s your passion? They know it instantly. But they instantly also write it off because they’ve been told it doesn’t make enough money, there’s not enough jobs in that market, it’s not realistic, so
they move on to Plan F. And wonder why they hate their lives. – Who’s this? – [Phone Message] The
number you have dialed is not in service. – That’s who. I fundamentally agree with that. It’s never been more
practical for that to happen, because the internet is now the middleman. – Right. – Your story and my story is literally the cliche story of Crush It! Because the internet came
along, you didn’t have to get, you didn’t have to move to L.A. and be discovered by some
guy or gal that put you on. You went to the consumer
and built the leverage to then pick and choose how you wanted it. – Right. – Who’s this? (phone rings)
Aaron? (phone caller)
– [Aaron] Hello? – Aaron, you’re on The
#AskGaryVee Show with Russ. – [Aaron] Fuck outta here, thank you. Is this Gary?
– You’re welcome. It is Gary! You need to turn off your computer too, we can hear each other in the background. (laughs) – [Aaron] Can you hear it now? – Hell yeah, Aaron, how are you? – [Aaron] Doing great, fucking amazing to be on the fucking show. My abrasive language to be on the show. Thank you, Gary. – My pleasure, man, what’s your question? – [Aaron] My question, basically, is what gets to Russ, if he doesn’t mind getting – All good. – [Aaron] Personal but – Yeah get personal, Russ. – [Aaron] What up, Russ? I’m a big fan. – Thank you bro. – [Aaron] No problem, bro. Basically, basically, what is your, if you don’t mind sharing, what was your strategy from going from zero
followers on social media to getting to 906 thousand, if you don’t mind sharing. – Yeah, it was literally, put out as much shit as possible at a high level. Quality and quantity. They always said, oh you have to pick quality over quantity, I was like, why can’t you just do both? Why can’t you have high
quality and high quantity? And that’s kind of what
broke the fucking system. That’s what did it. The first song I put out
didn’t get a million plays in the first day. The second song didn’t either. The 50th one didn’t either but on the 98th one, it did. – [Gary] Was it actually
98, or are you just kinda on numbers? – Yeah, yeah.
– Okay. – 98, 99, some shit like that. But, content is key. Just put out a shit ton of shit. It just has to be good. – Does that make sense to you, my man? – [Aaron] Ah yeah, thank you Russ. – No problem. – That guy is the best guy (laughs) basically fell asleep during the call. It’s interesting that I
was listening to you talk. Literally, basically, that’s basically all I
said to you at dinner the other night. Even though you’re now Russ, more not less! I really believe in it. I really believe in it so, so much. My whole point to you was and what I see from afar that makes you slightly different than the other people that I admire in the game right now, I just think you have it in you. It’s the reason I put
out content every day. – [Russ] Yeah. – I just think I can. I think talent, the advice we give on this is a little tricky, because most people don’t
have the talent to do it. Most people have a song or two in them. Let me rephrase. Most people have zero songs in them. – Right. But that’s why you need to
– My boy’s got zero songs in him! (laughs) – But that’s why you need to go away. You know what I’m saying? I had to tell myself, okay, I’m not putting out shit until I have 50. – Did you teach yourself to sing and rap, you think? Do you think I can learn to rap? Because I feel like I want to, but I can’t. Do you know what I mean? It’s kind of like, it’s kinda using my left
hand instead of my right hand in basketball, I don’t have the muscle. Is it a muscle that one can be taught? What’s your gut, I don’t know. – Nah, I think if you
have rhythm and flow, you can be given words to say. – Yeah, right. I definitely don’t have rhythm and flow. But when I speak in a context of a keynote or rant or this interview, I do. But for some reason when
music’s interjected, I’m like, I can’t do that. – Yeah. It’s not for everyone. – It’s upsetting. Give me one more. (laughs) I’m just gonna keep
Russ here for a minute. Alright, Russ, what else
is popping in culture? One of the things I
respect and love about you is I think you hack culture. I think you’ve got culture in you. I think, much like rhythm, what I do feel is I understand culture, I can synthesize it, that I have rhythm and flow with. I think you do as well. What else are you seeing,
maybe outside of hip hop, or deep, deep, deep in hip hop, what’s kind of emerging? One or the other. Outside of it that you’re intrigued by, something that’s happening in Country, something that’s happening in sports, something that happens in fashion or what’s something that’s
on the real early stages in hip hop that you’re like, huh, curious if that’s gonna manifest into mainstream. I see the kids doing this, or I was at the mall the other day or at my show I saw some kid wearing a fucking garage – I think hip hop is just
becoming more and more accepting, and it’s also becoming, it already is, it’s the biggest shit in the world. And so, now, I’m just curious to see how it ages. We’ve never really seen
the 60 year old rapper. We have the Mick Jaggers, and the fucking Bruce Springsteens and Bon Jovis. – So is that why you watch Jay-Z carefully over the next 10-15 years
– Absolutely. – To see how that manifests? – Absolutely because
he’s the one that’s like, he’s paving the way. – [Gary] Yeah. – Completely. – Yep. It’s gonna be interesting. – [Phone Message] We’re sorry. Your call can– – Come on. Atlanta. – Yeah. – I want to talk about it
for a second while Andy tries to actually dial the number. (laughs) Now the movie studios are down there – [Russ] Yeah. – I mean, it is you, for me, actually, you and what Coach K and that whole crew
were doing and 21 Savage and all the things that were happening, I was like, wow, there’s an enormous, Metro Boomin’, enormous talent flowing out of there. To your point, different. – [Russ] Yeah. – It’s one thing when everybody was like, gangster rap in L.A. or what was happening on the East Coast. Do you, being part of that scene, since you guys are clearly number one, are you almost dismissive
of the rest of the market? Not to start like a ‘fuck everybody else’. (crosstalk) No no no, the rest of the market. Do you, as you look around, you’re dismissive of everybody
’cause you’re competitive. – Yeah. – But, is it, is there a
flavor in Atlanta in general like wow, everybody else is absolutely second rate? The same way Silicon Valley thinks every other tech place is second rate? The same way that Hollywood thinks every other entertainment
place is second rate? – Well, I think Atlanta
probably does look like yo, no one’s fuckin’ with us right now. But, at the same time, I
think regionalism is dead. Because the internet blurred all the lines on the map. Everyone is neighbors, you know what I’m saying? So, there’s no more like I mean, yeah, you still
sound like you’re from L.A. Or you can sound like you’re from Atlanta, whatever the fuck it is. But there’s kids in Sweden who sound like they’re from Atlanta. And that’s because they’re
actually from the internet. And the internet is everything, so – What music, if any, have you listened to or liked outside of the genre of hip hop in the last year or two, recently? – I listen to so much shit outside of I love this girl named Chelsea Cutler. She’s so dope. – [Gary] Just her voice? – She’s so dope. She writes the craziest songs. She has these songs from when she was 17 or something that she completely doesn’t believe that they’re amazing. I’m like, these are the
greatest songs ever. – [Gary] I love it. Who’s this?
– [Andy] Kevin. – Kevin? Alright, Kevin.
(phone rings) Then we’ll let Russ ask
the question of the day of everybody. – Beautiful. (phone caller)
– [Kevin] Hello? – Kevin, you’re on The
#AskGaryVee Show with Russ. – [Kevin] I’m good. (laughs) – [Gary] I didn’t ask you yet. (laughs) I’m good.
– Fuck this. (laughs) – I’m gonna pass, I’m good. I’m out. Kevin – [Kevin] I’ve been trying
to get on this show. – Well you picked a hell of a fuckin’ day, how are you? – [Kevin] Dude, I’m good, thank you! (laughs) How are you guys doing? – Good, we’re still good. – [Kevin] I tweeted that you
should get Russ on the show back in May. – Legendary, I appreciate that. – You’re fucking Nostradamus, baby! – [Kevin] This shit is so awesome, but my question is, ’cause I know you’re holding him over but – I’m holding him hostage, he ain’t leavin’. Personal concerts for life, go ahead. (laughs) – [Kevin] But, how do you, both of you guys, how
do you guys gain that self belief and self confidence at the start of your careers to be so successful, ’cause Russ, in your booklet in your album you talk about how it’s
so imperative to be confidence and have self
belief to be successful. – Honestly the truth is, you have to be born with it, or number two, how you
can kind of curate it, is you run directly head first at fear. Wildly crazy at fear. If you’re scared to go onstage, go onstage. And then afterwards, you’re
gonna be less scared. And then do it again. If you’re scared to go up
to the girl and talk to her, go up to the girl and talk to her. Anything you’re scared of. You can actually just attack it. – Right, you can just sit there and be like, fuck it, I’ll do it myself. (laughs) – [Kevin] Just like your song, yeah! (laughs) – Yeah, that is what I meant. I think, I think – [Russ] What a legend!
– Here’s what I think, there’s another thing that I believe which is, parents do it, my mom did it for me. My mom gassed me up so much. I’ll never forget being 4 foot 11, Freshman year of high school, second part of it, almost
into Sophomore year, 4 foot 11 dude in high school, right? Greasy, long fuckin’ hair, ’cause everybody was
mulleting back in ’89. – [Kevin] Yeah. – And there was something that happened, I was like, wait a minute, I’m not the best looking guy on Earth? My mom had me so delusional!
(laughs) I thought I was the best at everything, I still weirdly carry that! Parents can absolutely do it, born with it, absolutely, head in fear can do it. – [Kevin] The thing for me is my parents, I got an Asian heritage background and what they do is they tell us a lot like oh no, don’t do that, don’t do this – That’s why you’re scared! – Facts. – That’s why you’re scared! And now I’m gonna get to the point, and you actually made it better. I appreciate you jumped in there, ’cause you’re gonna make
my point even better. So, now we just talked about three things. So, cool, you’re sitting at home watching
Gary V and Russ right now, you’re like, okay, be born with it. Can’t do that. Right? Run into fear. Most people, 99 percent won’t do it, that’s why it’s called fucking fear! Right? Number three, your
parents could have done it when you were a kid! You’re sitting here like, cool, but my parents were immigrants
who said ‘go to school’, or my parents were miserable and didn’t want me to succeed ’cause misery loves company. So now you’re sitting
here listening to this and saying, cool, it’s
nice that these guys were sitting here. But fuck these three
things they came up with. And here’s the fourth, and the only one that I’ve
ever seen in my eyes happen, and it is such a big fuckin’ deal. And it’s perfect, ’cause I love the way these four part of this crew interact with each other and I watched ’em the other night very carefully on this issue. Here’s the fuckin’ answer for all of you of the one thing you can do. Surround yourself with people that gas each other up. – [Russ] Facts. – Surround, the biggest, the only
thing you can control is who the fuck you hang out with. And if you’re hanging out with three kids and they’re all like, ‘we’re
never gonna get outta town. ‘We’re never gonna get out of this town.’ Dude what are you talking about you’re gonna have a fuckin’ hit song? Or you’re gonna start a startup? You’re gonna fucking work at the factory just like the three of us, just like our dads did. And we’re all gonna fuckin’ die here. You need to get those fuckin’
people out of your life. I talk about, I don’t talk about it a lot, I talk about cutting
your most loser friend, gaining your
– [Kevin] Yeah and I’ve been doing that ever since watching your show. – So you’ve cut out some friends? – [Kevin] Yeah no, I cut out some friends but now, those friends back in the day now, I’ll talk to them here and there – Exactly. – [Kevin] They party and
stuff and think I’m a loner. But I’m over here
– That’s beautiful. – Listening to Russ and
then watching you, man. (laughs) Fuels me up. – So wait a minute, now
that there’s one last part. Because we’re you’re virtual
friends and that’s right. That’s right. But, you need to add one or two people that are actually physically around you that are in the same spot as you. What me and Russ were,
15, 10, 15, 20 years ago. You need to find that
person and they’re there. So many people, fuckin’ leave a comment right now in the fuckin’ comments on Facebook. They’re all there! – [Russ] Facts. – [Kevin] Man, I appreciate
it so much, guys. It’s like to Russ and then D-Rock (laughs) It’s crazy. – Love it, see you. D-Rock, don’t get excited. You’re not my best friend. But you’re a dear friend,
and I love you very much. Alright, Russ, question of the day. You get to ask any question. It’s a good opportunity
for you and your team to maybe get a thousand, 2,000 answers to maybe something that’s curious, something that’s strategic or just kinda something funny
or fun or what have you. Question of the day, go. – I ask the question? – [Gary] Yes, sir.
– To who? – To the fuckin’ audience. Another thing real quick. You need to start
watching this fuckin’ show ’cause then you would
know the guests fuckin’ ask the question.
(laughs) I’m not listening to
any of your shit anymore until you watch more shows. (laughs)
Go. – [Russ] What’s my question?
– [Gary] Mmhmm. Think of it as a focus group, or be silly or maybe
there’s something curious or maybe you guys are debating something. What’s just a question about what are people interested in? How do they consume music, where do they consume music? Or what gear are they wearing or what shoes do they like? – How amazing do you
think my debut album is? – [Gary] Went real selfish, huh? – Yes. – Respect. My man.
(laughs) I really enjoyed it. Really good seeing you. You keep asking questions, we’ll keep answering them. – Yuh! (hip hop music)