Lil Durk dropped Just Cause Y’all Waited 2, which is a project full of honest emotion, discussing his rise up from the streets of Southside Chicago, the prejudice of the legal system, his past issues with drug addiction and everything in-between.

Durk features fellow Chicago natives Polo G and G Herbo, as well as rappers from his current home, Atlanta: Gunna and Lil Baby.

Just Cause Y’all Waited 2 displays just what makes Lil Durk a special artist: creating an album that not only contains the catchy, drill sound, but also contains lyrics about his past and how he grew into the successful artist he is. Durk brings up the trenches several times throughout the album. The trenches are violent neighborhoods that are riddled with crime. People who live in the trenches typically resort to selling drugs, and in these conditions, homicide is prevalent. 

Knowing the meaning of “the trenches” and “the mud” is important in the understanding of Lil Durk because the rapper came from a rough neighborhood, easily classified as the trenches. Durk lost a lot of people close to him, and his father was incarcerated when he was a baby. Growing up in these conditions without a father around led Durk to bear large responsibilities at a young age. He became a father himself at 17 years old, which led to him dropping out of high school and launching a serious rapping career.

Just Cause Y’all Waited 2 is Durk’s sentiment to the motivation he holds from coming from a neighborhood filled with violence, death and incarceration as well as to his girlfriend, India Royale. A lot of today’s artists’ lyrics are about seeing women as replaceable objects, but Durk is not about that. He celebrates the love he has with his girl, and he proves it is possible to create good music without disrespecting women.

“Street Affection” is a track in which Durk reflects the lack of love both within the streets and for the streets. He is tired of police brutality and the prejudice the legal system has against black America. The continuation of stereotypes toward black people is the reason some do not make it out of rough areas like Durk did. The melancholy sound of the piano building up the beginning and blending within the beat once he starts rapping helps support the angry tone of the track.

Lil Durk explains how much work he has put into making it out of a violent neighborhood despite having all odds against him, rapping, “Put blood sweat and tears inside this s---, you gotta respect it / You ain't did s--- for these streets, so how you gonna put a word in? / I'ma do what all I can do, but I never said it was perfect / Man that gun heavy, palm sweaty, you acting nervous.”

On “Internet Sensation,” Lil Durk celebrates his love and appreciation for his current relationship with India. He makes it clear he loves this woman because she never judges him or leaves his side. He has no temptations to even think about other women, and she has none for other men. Durk experienced percocet and lean addiction, and India never judged him for it, but rather, surrounded him with positivity and motivation to wean off it.

Lil Durk raps about his addictions and how his girl sticks by his side through them, “And I like the way you is; you ain't tryna kick it with my buddies / And I got a habit, and I like that you don't judge me / And it's so f-----, up but I'm glad to be a junkie / To fall in love, I say I been afraid / I'm mixing lean with lyrical lemonade.”

“Doin Too Much” starts off strong before Durk begins rapping, thanks to the catchy production by Roselilah and JW Lucas. Durk jumps in rapping about his regrets from past actions while living the street life and the low measures he would take just to get through tough times. This is a shorter and more repetitive song compared to most of the album, but it still has meaningful lyrics about Durk admitting to mistakes he made during desperate times.

Durk spits bars about mistakes he regrets and those that shape him into who he is, “I done did dirt in the streets; I regret it / You ain't got money, could play with your credit / I am a addict; I do not regret it / I gave him a gun, and he shooting like Reddick.”

All in all, Just Cause Y’all Waited 2 is yet another strong project by Lil Durk. His openness to rap about actions he took when he was at rock bottom and problems he continues to struggle with despite fame and fortune is admirable. 

@hannahnoelburk

hb239417@ohio.edu