After Chief Keef caught the eyes and ears of the masses this spring with “I Don’t Like”, a magnifying glass was placed over Chicago’s emerging “drill” scene. Riding shotgun on “I Don’t Like”, Lil Reese was the next to catch some major looks, releasing his debut mixtape and, most recently, having his song “Us” remixed by Rick Ross and Drake. Next up looks to be Lil Durk, who secured a Def Jam deal alongside Reese this past spring. A short stint in jail on gun charges kept Durk from getting the same amount of initial attention as his GBE counterparts, but with the recent official release of his single “L’s Anthem” and his Life Ain’t No Joke mixtape scheduled for release on October 19, it’s about time you get to know Lil Durk. —Neil Martinez-Belkin(@Neil_MB)

Who is Lil Durk?

Sneak Dissin

"I'm from Englewood, Chicago. Where the danger's at. I started rapping like two years ago. The first song I ever did to make it to YouTube was "Sneak Dissin'". A lot of people came to know me off that, and that's when I made "I'mma Hitta". The publicity from that made me start to take rap serious. Then this 300 movement came about and we just took off from there. Now everybody screaming 300."

On O.T.F. & G.B.E.:


"It's all one big family. I rep O.T.F. and they rep G.B.E, but at the end of the day we're all together. You know what I'm saying though? We still a team no matter what kind of solo deals we got. We're around each other every day. We're from the same area."

On being locked up just as Chicago's Drill scene was gaining traction nationwide:

On being locked up

"I wasn’t really tripping. I was just thinking about my career and how I could be better with the music. And when I got out, that’s what I did. And I was happy about the other guys getting attention. We were on. I was talking to people everyday. They were sending me news of what was going on, but I still didn’t know the experience. So when I got out, I got to experience it all."

On getting signed to Def Jam by No I.D.:

Def Jam deal

"Me and Reese were together with it. That's my homie, man. Everybody was telling us about a deal but we weren't believing it till we seen it. And then we seen it. It feels good to have the record deal but at the same time, you gotta go hard. The record deal is just another level. What are you gonna do after that? No I.D., I don't even look at him as a business partner. I look at him as a big brother. He just told me to be consistent, keep working, and not to let anyone tell me it can't happen. And I've run with that."

On Newfound Fame:

L's Anthem

"Things have changed a lot. A lot. I see myself on all these websites and a lot more people follow me on Twitter. It's all just motivation for me to keep going. I want to get where Ross and them at, which is gonna take hard work. They didn't get it easy. But I'm already seeing the hard work pay off."

On GBE getting cosigns from the likes of Kanye West, Drake & Rick Ross:


"Shoutout to Drake for that. Shoutout Reesey and Ross. I’m messing with the “Us” remix. It’s good exposure. They can’t deny it. They can’t deny good music. Everybody's been like 'Drake shouted you out! What you gonna do now?' It's cool."

On putting together his upcoming mixtape, Life Ain't No Joke:

Upcoming Mixtape

A year ago it would just be like, "Let me put whatever song on my mixtape," and I'd just put it out. Now there's a lot more exposure on what I put out. We gotta treat the mixtape just like we’d treat an album. Since I got out, they wanna see what I got. I wasn't going to use a lot of features, but I got Yo Gotti on it, Reese, SD. I got Lil Mouse on it too.