In an announcement that was surprising likely even for his fans, singer / songwriter / producer Russ has officially entered the cannabis space. Announced during a livestream last week, Russ is partnering with longtime cannabis operator Wonderbrett on the new line, which will be called CHOMP (branded in conjunction with the artist’s latest release last year). The line will feature eighths and prerolls of the exclusive strain, as well as a special capsule of branded merchandise to celebrate the collaboration.
For those of our readers who may be more unfamiliar with Russ, he’s a 28 year old independent artist who has amassed billions of streams basically by himself. Having hit on Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Cash Kings” for being one of the highest selling artists across the United States, Russ has become one of the most engaged rappers of modern times, but due to his independence, hasn’t seen the same sort of mainstream hype rappers like Cardi B or 6ix9ine are afforded.
While quick to note that he is heavily affected by THC, Russ came into this collaboration with the intention of creating something that would give him some extra creative juice in the studio, but without totally knocking him out. While he was extremely open during the call about the fact that a dab could knock him out for a week, it’s clear that he’s interested in consuming despite his low tolerance, and wants to provide an inspirational shortcut for other creatives. The Wonderbrett team was of course happy to help him pheno-hunt his choice cut to find something that provides a push without knocking you down, and it seems like all parties are extremely happy with where the plants netted out.
According to Russ, “I’ve been interested in getting into the cannabis industry for a while and Wonderbrett was the perfect partner to enter that space with. Their taste level is super high and Brett is a genius. As far as the product itself I just wanted to create something organic that was true to me. I’m not a heavy smoker who’s just gonna sit around and smoke all day but often times in the studio I enjoy experiencing an alternative yet still tuned in perspective, so keeping a joint of something productive nearby comes in handy…I might as well control what’s in the joint so that’s what I’ve done here with Wonderbrett.”
CHOMP You Can Smoke
While Russ fans surely know of CHOMP as his latest release, the details of the CHOMP weed are as follows: CHOMP is the product of crossing Wonderbrett’s coveted OZK strain with Cookies & Cream.
According to Cameron, “We took our signature approach to creating a new genetic with Russ. First, we chose a male from our OZK stable and crossed it into a Cookies & Cream female. Then from the seeds produced from that cross, we propagated 20 seedlings. We then dove into a rigorous sampling process, and from those 20 plants we selected the two best phenos that stood out the most: the #4 and the #8. Russ had to make the final decision on which pheno would ultimately become CHOMP and he chose #4, which is the pheno that Brett and I would have selected as well. The result is a great introductory high that really serves to enlighten and inspire artists to create. It doesn’t give you a couch lock effect.”
The result is a complex terp profile ranging from gas notes to more citrusy sweet, while providing effects that light the fire, but don’t quite burn down the building.
Wonderbrett is on board
For those out of the loop, Wonderbrett’s been around since way back in 1997 and these guys know what they’re doing. Founded by Brett Feldman and Cameron Damwijk, Wonderbrett’s cultivars have developed a cult-like following due to their unique terp profiles that actually smell like what they claim. For example, while many others may look at a Mango Kush and ask where the Mango comes from, you’ll never wonder with WB’s Beyond Blueberry or Strawberry Bliss. Even more, their flavors stand out – with Orange Sunset having one of the most unique and pronounced flavors available on the legal market today. Couple that with best-in-class branding and the recipe for success is clear.
When asked about the collaboration, co-founder and master cultivator Brett Feldman mentioned that “Russ has a great vibe, spirit, and is an independent self-made artist, which is something we gravitate toward and respect. When we were introduced by a mutual friend for a potential partnership, we were up front about the pheno hunt process and what it takes to make your own strain. He was willing to take the time to do it right, which is a must for us. Too many artists just want to slap their name on a strain and get it out there. Not us. Russ dove into a year-long process, ultimately creating a fire new strain that lights up the studio.”
For those hungry to get their CHOMP on, the products will initially drop today at STIIIZY’s DTLA store, and will also be available at the upcoming Wonderbrett flagship dispensary in the Fairfax Shopping District, which is expected to open in the coming weeks.