THE VOICE, BY LIL DURK, IS THIS HIS YEAR??
Last Friday, rappers Lil Durk and Lil Baby released their collaborative project Voice of the Heroes. From what I have been hearing, this album has been compared to the likes of Drake and Future’s What A Time To Be Alive, which was released back in 2015. But before diving into the duo, I wanted to listen to Lil Baby and Lil Durk individually. This is the review of Lil Durk’s The Voice.
Recently, Durk has seen many peaks and valleys simultaneously. His feature on Drake’s Laugh Now, Cry Later brought Durk from being a local Chicago rapper to new levels of superstardom. While this did bring him possibly millions of new followers, he also had to endure the pain of the death of his best friend. With the death of Dayvon Bennett, known as King Von, I expect this project to take a more dark approach to Durk’s melodic sound. This was a very unfortunate situation because the two were both reaching new heights in their careers simultaneously. If King Von was alive, I think he would have had a solidified spot on my XXL Freshman prediction list for 2021. In the past couple of weeks, his brother also passed away after being shot in Chicago. He also has to worry about rappers like 6ix9ine, who has been very disrespectful in the death of King Von and Durk brother. Sending prayers to Durk and his family. I hope everything in his personal life will become better.
WHAT I LISTEN FOR IN PROJECTS
When listening to music, I listen for the vibe, lyrics, and production of the song, and as a listener, I expect artists to get out of their comfort zones and experiment. I will be discussing lyrics, production, features, sales, and I will give this project a rating, but, as with all art reviews, my review of The Voice is based on personal opinion.
THE VOICE LYRICS
Like my review on Lil Baby’s My Turn, I implemented the deluxe portion of the album, along with the original project. I did this due to the deluxe album adding to the overall feel of The Voice. Well, like My Turn, this album is ridiculously long. With the deluxe, this album is a whopping 28 tracks. This absolutely an issue. I think artists should pay more attention from the perspective of the audience. This is very significant for someone in my position because this would be my first project of Durk’s that I will listen to from beginning to end.
I think of Durk as more of a melodic rapper than lyrics. This doesn’t mean he’s not lyrically skilled. I think some of The voice is based on Durk’s experience in terms of lyrics. For legal reasons, most of his lyrics may just be simply for entertainment. On The Voice, Durk expresses in many ways how he is not a force to be reckoned with. This album is centered around the “street lifestyle” that many artists have endured prior to fame. I am surprised this album didn’t mention the likes of 6ix9ine. He left that animosity for Laugh Now Cry Later. Some of my favorite lyrics include:
“Roll up a blunt of that Pluto
Used to be deep now I’m riding ’round uno“- Finesse Out The Gang Way
“He a mass murderer, he tried to be like Jordan
Expensive lifestyle, every day I’m spendin’ your mortgage
Looked at my past, like look at me now, this shit enormous
Looked at my past, like, why I was walkin’ ’round with a Taurus?“- Not The Same
We don’t party on other blocks, they fuck with other opps (let’s get it)
Then come ’round like you gang, that got your brother shot (brrah)
You say his name inside song, that got your brother hot (let’s get it)
Then leave him hangin’ without a lawyer, that shit dumb as fuck– Should’ve Ducked
MY FAVORITE SONGS
- Stay Down
- Finesse Out
- Death Aint Easy
- Still Trappin
- Not The Same
MY LEAST FAVORITE SONGS
- Every Freakin Day
THE VOICE PRODUCTION
The production features Hitmaka, Metro Boomin, TM88 and Choppsquad DJ. I think the production was very well. I think Durk has the potential to effortlessly work with just about any instrumental. The instrumentals were very interesting. Some of his instrumentals on this album include guitar and piano loops, heavy 808’s and bass, and many trap-oriented instrumentals. This album is a mix between trap, R&B and Pop. I would compare the production to a Drake’s More Life, or even Scorpion. According to Who Sampled, this project has samples from Jodeci and Kanye West, mainly in lyrics. Overall, I think the production was interesting but really meshed well with Durk.
THE VOICE FEATURES
Some of the features on this album include King Von, YNW Melly, Young Thug, 6Lack, and many more. I really like many of the songs that Durk has features on. I think this really brings out the best of Lil Durk and his style. I like that he raises the bar, especially when collaborating with Pooh Shiesty, or Lil Baby. When it came to YNW Melly, Booka 600, or Sydny August, he brought a more dark melodic sound. I think this is a good direction for Durk in terms of features. I really enjoyed his collaboration with Young thug and 6lack. Overall, everyone works well with Durk on this project.
SALES, RATINGS, AND OVERALL REVIEW
According to Complex, after the deluxe, this album sold 86,000 units. This also put Durk on the number 2 spot for the Billboard 200. This is a significant feat for Durk, as he has been in debate with rapper and troll 6ix9ine over Billboard. Durk is finally receiving the recognition he deserves as an artist. I think his collaboration with Drake was the best thing for his career overall.
To conclude, after listening through every track, this album+ deluxe is too long. I felt as if I couldn’t give a good review because its too much content. I am proud of how far Durk has come as an artist, especially being on Voice of the Heroes, but this project was not that good. (In my opinion,) It wasn’t bad, but I just felt “meh” about it. If you are a Durk fan, this may be for you. I think Durk does best with collaborations, but with the passing of his friend Von, I think it might have affected him. I like that he has a melodic flow because not every song has to be aggressive. I think Durk’s production choices are interesting, which might add to how I feel about this project. With Durk’s voice, he has more versatility in his production choices. I think Durk still might be finding who he meshes well with because of his level of superstardom. Hopefully in Voice of the Heroes, we hear a more solidified version of Durk’s overall sound.
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