Lil Durk Draws Inspiration From Chicago’s Most Violent Neighborhoods

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What changed when you got the Coke Boys co-sign?
I got more recognition, definitely on the East Coast. I was at the BET Awards, Bow Wow shouted me out at the BET Awards. I was there with Gotti and all them on the green carpet, front row seats for the awards, stuff I hadn’t envisioned or seen yet. Everything’s gotten better since Coke Boys. It’s working out.

What do you think is more useful, the major label deal, or a co-sign from the Coke Boys?
The label is just a boost. You have to get yourself hot, and come with some hot records. I think the co-sign is helping me do that, bring traffic to the label. Because the label’s all about helping you. At the end of the day they want to make their money back.

All the pieces are falling together, it seems. What makes your situation unique?
All the things you ain’t seeing. I got major artists hitting me up. Everybody hit me up asking about the mixtape. It’s been a week. It’s only been a week. People still ain’t heard it.

Congrats on the birth of your second child, was that this summer?
Yeah, in July.

What adjustments do you think you’ll have to make, as a performer and raising children?
Just like anything else, you’ve got to spend time with your family. Music is how you support them, though, so you can’t really get between it.

Do you want more kids?
Yeah, lots more.

Big family?
Yeah, like ten.

This might sound ridiculous to you, but where I’m from, Toronto, the mayor always refers to Chicago as a model city. Is that surprising to you?
Ain’t nothing wrong with Chicago at all. We got the best balls games, football games, ain’t nothing wrong with it. It’s just certain areas, neighborhoods. You get a group of people together and they don’t act right. Chicago ain’t bad, but when you’re from out of town you only hear negative things. They try to make it sound bad.

And your music captures the violence in that particular community.
Yeah, at first, that’s how I blast myself off.

Now you’re going to start rapping about other things?
Yeah, that’s why the mixtape consists of only real rap, stuff people can relate to. First you rap about the hood, what’s going on, people’s names around our way, but now it’s bigger, so you hear me singing about what’s going on, people who are locked up, what they’re going through.

Is it cool that the labels end up profiting off the turmoil you’ve experienced?
I don’t care what nobody says, it’s about money at the end of the day. I would rather do it the right way. I’m branching off to do my thing. That’s what French Montana and Coke Boys are helping with, helping me find my own lane.