Legends of the Culture: Let’s Talk About Ruslan (Christian Rap’s Gary Vee)
It was Ruslan himself who sparked the idea of this article. After speaking to him through his open car window after the Indies Only Showcase at A3C back in 2019, he said, “Justin, I love what you’re doing with the Rapzilla news show.” Except, he had one caveat that he said with a smile, “I’m not on it enough.”
When I got home, the wheels began turning. Ruslan is doing newsworthy stuff all the time. EVERY SINGLE DAY, I see a post on Twitter or Instagram of him doing something or someone sharing an interview he did.
Guess what? Everything above this line I wrote back in 2019 and shelved it. It’s 2021, and Ruslan is even more impressive now.
For me, Ruslan was an elusive interview until I met him at the Elevation Conference. Prior, he had told me that he only does interviews in person. That’s just his style (*COVID has changed this). He wants to be face to face and talk about relevant and important issues.
At the conference, I finally got my interview, and it was incredible. It was a deep dive of a conversation that I flipped into a podcast and he recorded for a video.
Watch it Below:
By the way, the interview was recorded with Ruslan’s mobile film equipment. He travels everywhere with microphones, a video switcher, and an OBS account. This simple set up has recorded probably 100 plus videos. He has new content all the time. He is Christian rap’s Gary Vee and then some. He does exceptional video interviews, creates vlogs on life and useful information for artists and subjects tackling faith and family. He’s spoken to the who’s who of CHH and has invested time back into the culture. Ruslan even speaks to people outside of it and has tough convos: an atheist comedian, a pro-choice Christian, athletes, community leaders, and people with out of the box ideologies.
During this last political cycle and the events of 2020, he took on more of a vocal leadership role. He’s offered opinions and ideas that get people to think critically without necessarily swaying you on “His choice is the right choice.”
Honestly, this is just the video/media side. If you watch the above interview and listen to his music, you’ll learn about his immigrant story. You can hear how he learned English from listening to hip-hop and early aspirations of being an NBA player. He then dove into the world of hip-hop as a Christian, started Kings Dream Ent his label, co-founded the Dream Junkies, and from there grinded it out booking tours and recording music.
Ruslan also does Fan Love Friday to help bring up the next generation of artists and has a number of Patrons who he caters to every month. Then there’s the merch, and even this awesome convo about the intersectionality of faith and wealth. The list goes on and on.
He’s married, has a son, is a full-time self-sustained creative who’s had his music played by Gary Vee, and is officially Yang Gang. Ruslan is unapologetically himself, a young O.G. in Christian hip-hop, and respected by everyone in the genre. He is indie to the core and an entrepreneur. In fact one of my most popular Tweets directly involves him.
If @RuslanKD has ever helped you or inspired you directly or indirectly, like this tweet.
— Justin Sarachik (@JustinSarachik) October 16, 2019
Here’s what some of these people had to say about him.
“Realest in the game”
“He was the first person to ever give me feedback on beats fam”
“Bro gave me the blueprint for my next album and some of the best critique I’ve heard on my work in years!”
“He’s a legend and it ain’t no discussion”
“Definitely always been inspired by him and @BeleafMel and now they both inspire me in entirely new ways it’s a beautiful thing”
“@RuslanKD handle is one of the few handle in chh that I look forward to, for tweet relating faith issue, he doesn’t talk deep faith talk always, but when he does it’s always”
“He is always giving jewels! Heard it a few times from him, but the wisdom of always seeking to add value to people, whether on personal, business, or ministry context has been so valuable.”
So yes, this puts a wrap up on an article that’s been sitting in the Rapzilla admin for well over a year. Who do you think we should cover next?