"Respect Tha God", born Russell Ballenger Jr, is an emcee straight out of Grime City Glen Cove on Long Island, NY. Russell's love for music started with percussion lessons on the conga and bongos with his Uncle Roy. By the age of 13 Russell started rapping, expressing himself from a musical standpoint in talent shows, rhyming about all the challenges he and others faced as teens. Respect continued to battle for several years mastering his skills and the time came for him to make a move, so he and long time childhood friend Dy-Verze, joined forces and created the group, DEM N.G.G.Z. with their popularity resulting in a nomination for "Best New Rap Group" in the Long Island Music Awards. This recognition helped to spring-board tours with groups such as Leaders of the New School, Fantasy Five and Mama Mastic. It also opened the opportunity to work with Essence ("New Jack City" Sound Track) and platinum recording group Color Me Badd. He later partnered with legendary D&D Studio's very own Doug Grammar to begin work on his first solo project. He began to understand what it took to become the messenger he wished to be. With hard work he established his solo career and met and collaborated with other D&D artists such as his now bother-in-law Afu-Rah. Together with Afu, he teamed up with D&D artists Ca-See, and A-Sun to form the group Perverted Monks. Respect was able to take their message and tour internationally. He released four 12" vinyl records with the Monks, the 1st topping the 10k mark in sales. They followed up with their first Perverted Monks album released in 2004. Respect appeared on Afu's 1st and 2nd albums (Body of the Life Force / Life Force Radio. Respect has since refocused on his solo work and as a result, the world witnessed the birth of Respect (Tha God)! Respect (Tha God), has progressed into his solo career working with Smif 'n' Wessun, legendary PF Cuttin and Blaze (Snowgoons, Beatminerz, and Nick Cannon). Respect released a total of 8 mixed CDs in just 3 years, distributing over 50,000 CDs and MP3s worldwide. Respect (Tha God)'s latest album "The Life and Times of Russell Ballenger" has been released digitally in December 2009 with super producer DJ Black Panther on his "Manekinekpro/Koch" label. Keep your eyes and ears open for this rising star. If there is any question to ask, "Don't we need a little... Respect?