Lil Durk

Lil Durk

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About Lil Durk

Back in the early 2010s, Durk Banks was just another rapper making his way in Chicago drill, a bleak, diamond-hard variant on trap that channeled the city’s culture of violence into unlikely anthems. Drill—and the label frenzy that surrounded it—faded, but Durk evolved, becoming one of the rare rappers able to make the leap from regional fame to the mainstream without diluting his street appeal. Painful, raw, but eerily pretty, Durk’s music can turn death threats into nursery rhymes (“Die Slow”) and coax shades of suffering from Auto-Tune that make even the slickest productions breathe with vulnerability (“Turn Myself In”). He doesn’t sugarcoat it. But you get the sense he isn’t putting on too much of a show, either. Born in Chicago in 1992, Durk started rapping in his teens, building local popularity through mixtapes before landing on Def Jam in 2012. His debut album, Remember My Name, came out in 2015, followed by Lil Durk 2X. Though he forged his reputation on drill, Durk proved unexpectedly versatile, a rapper who could slip between dead-eyed rawness and Auto-Tuned melodicism, and handle a love song (“India,” “My Beyoncé”) without making it sound like it was a mandate from the label. He left Def Jam in 2018, asserting his independence on a spate of mixtapes before joining Geffen Records with 2020’s Just Cause Y’all Waited 2. In 2022, he performed an Apple Music Live session in Los Angeles.

Chicago, IL, United States
October 19, 1992
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