Pain and tragedy have defined so much of Lil Durk’s life and, by natural extension, his music. The devastating losses he’s experienced since rising to hip-hop stardom from Chicago’s once nascent drill scene compound one another, to the point where even something as common as rap beef takes on a more ominous tone. With Almost Healed, he memorialises the deaths of his brother DThang and friend King Von with therapeutic catharsis on his mind. After the introductory framing device by no less than Alicia Keys, the revelations and anecdotes behind “Pelle Coat” and “Never Again” contribute to what hopefully amounts to a healthy path through grief. With high-profile guests like Kodak Black and Morgan Wallen in the mix, the universality of life’s trials and tribulations becomes clearer. When 21 Savage comes through for “War Bout It”, the lure of violence becomes more prominent. Similarly, seasoned hitmakers J. Cole and Future bring big energy to “All My Life” and “Never Imagined”, respectively, without departing too radically from the surrounding themes. Yet Durk doesn’t dwell entirely on morbid subjects, addressing the comparatively lighter cruelty of a bad romance on “Dru Hill” and “Sad Songs”.