By Jack Barnes
Parlaying his masterful sense of melody and starkly honest lyricism into popular and critical acclaim, Lil Durk is a respected emcee ready to take the next step to mogul-dom. Preparing the first group mixtape by his Only The Family (OTF) label, Lil Durk announces Only The Family Involved Vol. 1. Featuring several brand new songs by Lil Durk, the new mixtape finds the Chicago native sharing the limelight with his most accomplished OTF signees, including eccentric trap melodist Yung Tory, warble-voiced drill emcee OTF Ikey, and the aggressive Doodie Lo. A relentlessly melodic project, Only The Family Involved Vol. 1 finds the three labelmates feeding off each others’ styles, relentlessly stacking infectious melodies into verses, hooks, and ad-libs. Hitting the internet on July 31st, the upcoming mixtape showcases Durk’s eye for talent and spotlights a new wave of tuneful trap.
To accompany the mixtape announcement, OTF shares “Play Yo Role,” a dramatic and emotional new single. Anchored by Lil Durk’s rock solid hook, and boasting star turns from OTF all-stars Doodie Lo, OTF Ikey, and Booka 600, “Play Yo Role” emphasizes the importance of tradition and order in street life. Without a strong sense of purpose, it’s easy to lose your way or your life. The video finds the four emcees count cash in a neon lit room, displaying the easy chemistry and camaraderie that imbues the Only The Family Involved project.
“Me and the guys have been working on new music since early January,” explains Lil Durk. “‘Play Yo Role’ was a favorite in our inner circle so we decided to put it as the first single for this project. When you have a crew of different individuals and artists, it’s important for everyone play their role for the team to win”
A tireless and prolific emcee, Lil Durk has already had a busy 2018. In March, he released his first project since departing Def Jam, Just Cause Y’all Waited, a twelve-track collection of melodic bangers that thrive on Durk’s trademark emotional honesty. Further evidence of the Chicago-bred artist’s seamless fit within the vibrant scene of his new hometown of Atlanta, Just Cause Y’all Waited EP is an important transitional record for Durk. Praised by Pitchfork, who wrote “Lil Durk writes about Chicago the way Joan Didion once captured California,” Just Cause Y’all Waited features tracks such as the DY of 808 Mafia-produced “Durkio Krazy,” which has over 7 million combined plays for its audio on YouTube, the buzzing “1-773 Vulture,” a street remix to Logic’s hit single “1-800-273-8255” that reached the 7 million view mark on YouTube, the Lil Baby-featuring lead single “How I Know,” which earned prominent placement on Spotify’s Most Necessary playlist, and the flashy “When I Was Little,” which has 813,000 views since its premiere last week. Featuring additional appearances from PartyNextDoor, Ty Dolla $ign, Gunna, and TK Kravitz, and with production from 808 Mafia and others, Just Cause Y’all Waited EP is a formidable appetizer for Signed to the Streets 3, due later this year. Lil Durk turned heads when he performed his hits in a prime time slot, and later joined Tee Grizzley onstage at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami.
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