Following his 2018 album, Signed To The Streets 3, Chicago rapper Lil Durk has released Love Songs 4 The Streets 2, an album that highlights life in the streets of his hometown along with his record label struggles. Holding no punches with big-name features, Love Songs 4 The Streets 2 features 21 Savage, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and more impressive artists.

“Like That (feat. King Von)” was the first song released prior to the album, and it includes fast-paced instrumentals along with Durk and Von’s angry tones and lyrics. It created a lot of excitement for the release of the album, and the rappers both express their commitment to the streets they came from on it: “Where I’m from you better not tell / Where I’m from it’s dead or in jail,” Von raps.

Durk Banks, known by his rapper name Lil Durk, has brushed with fame and struggled with mainstream acceptance. In the early 2010s, he almost cut a deal with Def Jam, but he never felt secure seeking help from those above him in the hip-hop game and returned to the comfort of his hometown. Lil Durk formed his own hip-hop collective, Only the Family, in 2011, and current artists consist of King Von, Yung Tory, Park Hill and more.

In Love Songs 4 The Streets 2, Lil Durk elicits sentiments about his label struggles. On “Rebellious,” the rapper exclaims, “I thought my life was supposed to change when I got that deal.” Durk mentions in the album the need to pay his grandmother’s bills and the loss of his cousins.

Furthermore, Lil Durk has suffered many personal losses. In May 2014, Durk’s cousin was murdered, and in 2015, his manager and friend was also shot and killed. 

“Die Slow (feat. 21 Savage)” is centered around the mourning of Durk’s dead cousin. The chorus begins with, “For the n---- that killed my cousin, / woo, make sure he die slow.” 21’s verse is killer, beginning with “I got Hall of Fame status, b----; don’t try me like a rookie (21) / I need a quarter ticket if your a-- wanna book me (on God).”

“Bora Bora” has the catchiest beat of the album, and Durk’s use of autotune to match the beat perfectly is admirable: “Gotta watch your mans; that's the beauty of the streets / Look at me and my b----; that s--- Beauty and the Beast,” Durk raps.

Right before the closing track, “David Ruffin” is a perfect example of Durk’s ability to rap hard lyrics over a soft beat. He sneaks disses in about former Only the Family artist Tay600 in the song as well as in the album’s single, ”Green Light.” Durk vocalizes, “I know a killer got in that jam; we call him David Ruffin / And they didn't even use his statement, so he sang for nothing.”

All in all, Durk expresses his regard for a myriad of topics on Love Songs 4 The Streets 2, and, ultimately, shows off his rapping skills. Where he goes hard on songs like “David Ruffin,” he pulls back and mellows on “Prada You” and “Extravagant (feat. Nicki Minaj).” With the release, Durk is showing his strengths and how he fits into the rap world today. 

@hannahnoelburk

hb239417@ohio.edu

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