Exclusives 25 February 2023
Author: Seth P

GRM Exclusive: Is ‘One Of A Kind’ Russ Millions At His Best?

25 February 2023
Russ Millions One Of a Kind

Russ Millions has rapidly become one of UK Drill’s biggest breakout stars. With number one singles and platinum selling records in tow, he now looks to dominate an entirely different market with the release of his debut mixtape One Of a Kind. For fans who’ve been on the hype train longer than three or four years, they might remember the multitude of different identities he’s assumed. Whether it was RussMB, Russ Splash or simply Russ, the one unifying feature was the South Londoners predilection for bringing call and response style lyricism to the unlikely realm of UK Drill. But before Russ Millions began creating anthemic drill tracks centred around female leads, he could be found duetting alongside frequent collaborator Taze, sharping the tools that would eventually propel him, and the genre as a whole, into unchartered territory. 

These early entries in UK Drill’s annals had a much darker complexion, with opps often being the target of his lyrical barbs, as opposed to the playful one liners that have allowed him to become more palatable to an audience less interested in macabre oneupmanship. The Lewisham native’s fearlessness to sprinkle elements of joviality into the dark cauldrons of UK Drill, have birthed some of the scenes most memorable moments. Pre TikTok era dance crazes like “Gun Lean”, show Russ Millions’ ability to be an entertainer, oozing charisma outside the confines of the 16s and 32s. In a media landscape as diverse as the one we’re currently in, being multifaceted is the key to longevity. 

That is precisely what Russ Millions hopes to achieve with One Of A Kind, he’s determined to avoid being framed a “singles artist”, and prove his staying power over the course of 17 tracks. Prior to release we’d already been treated to nine of those 17, and a cursory glance at the track list on DSPs serves as a reminder of Russ Millions’ penchant for hit making; with all nine of the singles well into the multi millions. 

His hit making pedigree was never in question, however it’s slightly disappointing that because of the inclusion of these tracks we were only given a merge eight new ones. So in essence, rather than a tape, it would probably be more appropriate to call this release an EP. Despite the quantity of new tracks lacking, the quality certainly cannot be called into question. Across the eight tracks, Russ Millions shares the WAV with Stateside heavyweights like French Montana, Italy’s Rondodasosa & homegrown talent like Teezandos, IVD and Ms Banks. 

Throughout One Of a Kind, Russ Millions displays his hook writing mastery, which has been pivotal to much of his mainstream success. However, he’s become somewhat of a victim of this success, consequently the strongest writing on the tape comes in the forms of Russ’ work on the hooks. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but long time fans might miss hearing the Russ of old, where we’d see him weave together multiple different flows on tracks like “Trap Not Carni”.

One thing you can’t fault Russ Millions for is his consistency. Over the 17 tracks, he never fails to provide us with an unrelenting stream of commercial UK Drill, something that he’s arguably pioneered. Tracks like “Dancer” which features a European coterie of fellow drillers, sees Russ venture down the sample drill route, with a Jaygo Beats flip on the Iyaz track “Replay”. This is sure to be a welcome introduction to Russ Millions for hordes of new European fans. For the UK contingent, One Of a Kind doesn’t break new ground, but instead serves up a generous helping of the genre we can’t seem to get enough of. It would of been great to see a less risk averse Russ Millions, but there’s always the album for that.