At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, the 2021 alliance of Lil Baby and Lil Durk is historic. There hasn’t been a real-time coupling of two of contemporary hip-hop’s most beloved and revered MCs like this since at least 2015’s What a Time to Be Alive. Their The Voice of the Heroes project—the title references their respective nicknames—is a testament not only to their relationship, but to the respect they have for their legacies. It’s hard to imagine either being more popular within the hip-hop space, and yet hip-hop—the kind heavily informed by street life, to be specific—is what we get across The Voice of the Heroes, wholly. The closest thing to a pop aspiration on the project is the Travis Scott feature, and even Cactus Jack taps into his gutter side while detailing the consequences of going against the gang (“Bro, do it silent without a potato,” he says on “Hats Off”). Elsewhere on the album are guest appearances from Meek Mill, Young Thug, and the face of pain rap himself, Rod Wave. Though it would appear Baby and Durk spared no expense with regard to production (London on da Track, Turbo, Wheezy, Murda Beatz, among others), the two never lose sight of the fact that the real draw is what happens when they get in the same room, which is the kind of rapping that has made each a king in his own right, compounded by the kind of chemistry that makes them sound like an actual group.