Lil Durk has, in the last decade, been making waves in the rap industry, one single hit at a time. His rise to stardom is frequently portrayed as someone who came from nowhere to achieve global success. But that is not the case. He has been a star in the making dating back to 2011.
He set himself apart as a teenage rapper, combining elements of trap, horrorcore, and Memphis rap that highlight the challenges young people, particularly Blacks, face in the streets. His rap lines also reflected his own struggles in the streets.
Born Durk D. Banks, he grew up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side. Like many Blacks in the hip-hop industry, he grew up under extremely difficult circumstances. He dropped out of school, became a member of a gang, and then became a father at the age of 17.
However, his lifestyle took a ‘positive turn’ when he discovered his talent for rap music as well as rap battles. He started rapping on YouTube and MySpace. He released his first mixtape, “I’m a Hitta,” without a label, according to Forbes.
The mixtape became a massive hit, resulting in a joint venture deal to bring his rap collective Only the Family under Def Jam, Forbes said. He quickly followed it with “I’m Still a Hitta” in April 2012 and “Life Ain’t No Joke” in October 2012.
He released his debut album, “Remember My Name”, in 2015. In 2017, he released “The One” with DeJ Loaf. He released other singles like Love Songs for the Streets, Supa Vultures (with Lil Reese), and Bloodas (with Tee Grizzley).
In 2018, his song, Just Cause Y’all Waited, peaked just outside the Top 50. However, his third studio album, Signed to the Streets 3, hit the Top 20 of the Billboard 200.
In 2019, he released his fourth studio album, Love Songs 4 the Streets 2, which featured A-list artists like 21 Savage, Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill. He released the album while on bail for his involvement in a shooting in Atlanta.
He subsequently came out with a new single “Ahhh Ha,” and later followed it with his seventh studio album 7220. The album debuted at the top slot of the Billboard charts. It featured artists like Gunna, Summer Walker, Future, and Morgan Wallen.
Recently listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 — Music 2022 List, the platform said he “has been quite the commercial success with six platinum singles.”
Aside from music, Durk is also involved in other business ventures. According to Forbes, the rapper recently co-founded digital wearables company NXTG3NZ, which is projected to revolutionize the footwear industry in the Metaverse. He co-founded it with Satoshi Designs and Nexus.
“The power has shifted to the artists and their fans with Blockchain tech,” Durk told Forbes. “I want to not only be a successful rapper/entrepreneur but a powerhouse voice in the metaverse and NFT community, at the forefront of this movement.”
According to Forbes, “NXTG3NZ is designed by the legendary Devonte’ Black and will have 10,000 tokens in total and be used on Avatars across the digital realm while still proving ownership in the physical.”
Durk said the next phase of his life is to venture into the movie industry and other things that people wouldn’t expect from him. “So while everyone’s sleeping, I’m up looking for the next thing,” he said.