True hip-hop heads have been loving Lil Durk since he been making noise on the mixtape scene over 10 years ago, but the Chicago rapper is now a full-fledged star: Last year, Lil Durk and Lil Baby’s collaborative album The Voice of the Heroes debuted at Number One on Billboard’s album chart and was streamed 198 million times in its first week. And his appearance on Drake's "Laugh Now Cry Later" earned him two BET Award nominations this year.
And of course, just last week “No Return,” his current hit with Polo G and the Kid LAROI, started dominating radio and streaming services, once again proving Lil Durk is a master of his craft. When it comes to collabs, Lil Durk is everywhere, racking up duets with everyone from Lil Baby and Gunna to Roddy Ricch and Pooh Shiesty. With six studio albums and twelve mixtapes to his name, he may just be the hardest working rapper alive. Scroll down for things you might not know about him.
Like many aspiring rappers, Lil Durk got his start on MySpace and YouTube, but over the years he’s released records with Def Jam, Interscope, and other major labels. Insisting on doing things his way, Durk owns record label OTF, which stands for Only the Family. The label is also a rap collective, whose other members include Booka600, Memo600, JusBlow600, Doodie Lo, and OTF Timo.
A lot of rappers talk about having a hard upbringing. For Lil Durk, the challenges were so real, sometimes there wasn’t even food on the table. Born Durk Derrick Banks, Lil Durk grew up on the South Side, Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. His mom, a nurse, raised him and his siblings after his father, Dontay Banks, Sr., was sentenced to life in prison. Durk turned hardship into art, rapping about growing up in poverty on songs including “Ghetto (Grew Up)” and "500 Homicides."
At 28, Durk is a busy dad. He has six children: Angelo, Bella, Zayden, Du’mier, Willow, and Skyler. While they don’t all currently live with him, he posts warm and sentimental statements about how much all his kids mean to him on social media. For a peek at some of the peak cuteness check out his woman India Royale’s Instagram account dedicated to their two children (with occasional cameos by daddy Durk himself).
OK, let’s be real: when we say “wicked jumpshot,” we mean for someone who’s 5’9”, Durk is serious about his hoop game. He loves getting on the court so much, he’s even trained with famed NBA skills coach and Black Ops founder Chris Brickley. That bond led to Durk contributing a new song called “Wasted,” featuring Atlantic recording artist Enisa, to the upcoming EP Welcome to The Grind: Layup Lines, due this fall, alongside tracks by A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Lil Baby.
A rapper at the top of his game might be expected to be out with a different girl every night, clubbing and enjoying the bachelor life. Not Lil Durk. The way he publicly celebrates his feelings for his lady, India Royale, leaves no doubt that she’s got his love on lock. He’s even written a couple of love songs for her, including "India," in which he openly says, “I can't lie, I can't tell my guys/ That I'm in love and I feel so shy/ And we both turnt up we from the Chi/ But I don't ask about her other guy/ I just wanna eat you alive.”
To which all we can say is, AWWWWWWW!
Tune into the BET Awards on June 27, 2021 at 8/7C
(Photo: Evans Alexandre/BET)