Interview: Lil Durk
Mon, 08 Jun 2015 09:48:47
Chi town explodes with new rap hero, and he chats all about Remember My Name, where to go if you're in Chicago, movies, and more.
Lil Durk is breathing new life into Chicago hip-hop. His anxiously awaited major label debut Remember My Name [OTF/Coke Boys/Def Jam] has arrived, and is already leaving a big impact on modern rap. He's got a fierce flow, but he can also rock a slick hook with the best of them, relaying real and raw street stories with conviction and charisma. You've most likely heard the Jeremih-assisted hit "Like Me" and "Tryna' Tryna'" with Logic, however, the whole thing makes for one of 2015's most powerful hip-hop albums. You're going to remember Lil Durk's name by the end. He talked to us in this exclusive interview about the ins and outs of the record, favorite Chicago spots, flicks, rappers who inspire him, and more.
"Tryna' Tryna'" really highlights your skills as a wordsmith and lyricist. The chemistry between you and Logic stands out.
I appreciate that. I wanted to do something different with that record. It's another side of creativity. It features two different artists from different ways coming up with something that everyone can feel. You know what I mean?
Absolutely! What's the story behind the song? How did it happen?
We started talking on Twitter. He direct messaged me his number, and we FaceTimed. We wanted to find a song we could do that fit each other. We went in the studio and came up with something. I was like, "Oh yeah, that's too much your way. Let's do a party song!" It was about being different, showing creativity and how we both can rock out and both fan bases can like it. He bite to my fans, and I can bite to his fans so we came up with that party song.
Who tweeted who first?
[Laughs] I reached out to him. We'd been following each other, but I finally tweeted him. He tweeted me, and the reaction from the fans was crazy. We definitely had to talk for real.
Where did "Like Me" come from?
I was still keeping it hip-hop. I didn't want to go all the way R&B with Jeremih. I kept it right in the middle, so everybody could relate to it, especially the females. I was keeping that core fan base. I'm saying, "There's nobody like me." I'm giving examples of why you should mess with me.
What's your vision for Remember My Name as a whole?
I wanted you to just hear the whole story behind my name. All of those pasts before have been real. It's what we've been through in Chicago, with the media, and the negative energy towards us. I wanted to keep it real and show everybody that this is what it is and this is what really happened. I'm like, "Y'all ain't heard about this, but this is what happened." I'm keeping it real one-hundred percent. That's what I do in my lyrics and for my city.
How important is it for you to tell stories in the songs?
That's definitely a hundred percent. If you say you got real rap and want to do real rap, you've definitely got to tell stories. People really want to know, and that shows your creativity too.
Do you write your lyrics down or freestyle everything in the booth?
It's 50-50. Most times, I'll go off my head off of what I see. If I'm in a bad mood, I'll go to the studio and start putting everything together. Half of the s*** is written, and half of it is freestyle. I put it in my iPhone.
What song means the most to you from the album right now?
"What Your Life Like"...I'm telling you what my life is, and you can't compare it. I'm telling you what happened to me, and then I'll tell you what your life's like. I'm just showing you my struggle and what went on where that all started at, where I got they're attention at, and why I need to drop a song that means something. That's a song I really put a lot of thought into.