By Jack Barnes
Imbuing his melodic raps with deep emotion and honesty, Lil Durk is an artist in the purest sense of the word. Recapping an eventful year that included rising tides of commercial success, multiple festival performances, big time radio interviews, and a pregnancy with his girl friend India Royale, Durk reflects on his place in the world in “Remembrance,” his latest single. Weaving his indelible melodies between synthetic vox and processed guitars courtesy of Young Chop, Lil Durk alternates profound bars about the inequities of poverty (“I know some killers tatted teardrops on their eyelids/They’re living large in low income, that shit so tragic”) with heart-wrenching details about his personal life (“I’m tryna lay my head where they don’t kill at”) and clever references to current events (“Make Kanye black again”). In the video, premiered by Complex, Durk rhymes in a darkened room as images of his past year flashes by, combining all his recent career and personal highlights into a moving montage. Enjoy this video stream below after the jump and please share this with friends.
Ready to rise from rap star to rap mogul, Durk prepares Only The Family Involved Vol. 1, the first group mixtape by his Only The Family (OTF) label. 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. Earlier this week, Durk shared “Play Your Role,” an addictive and poignant new single featuring OTF Ikey, Doodie Lo, and Booka 600. Hitting the internet on July 31st, the upcoming mixtape showcases Durk’s eye for talent and spotlights a new wave of tuneful street rap.
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, 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 buzzing “1-773 Vulture,” a street remix to Logic’s hit single “1-800-273-8255” that reached the 9 million view mark on YouTube, and the Lil Baby-featuring lead single “How I Know,” which earned prominent placement on Spotify’s Most Necessary playlist. 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 (catch a few clips from this performance and from backstage in the “Remembrance” video).
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Props to Lil Durk