Lil Durk – Almost Healed

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Continuing a truly impressive pace of release, though some quality control may be needed, in the wake of assorted personal tragedies, Chicago’s Lil Durk is now on his fifth major studio album of the 2020s, and he continues to reinvent himself as a more melodic rapper after his origins as a pioneer of drilling. while last year 7220 It might have been Durk’s best album yet, with some of his strongest hooks and eye-opening documentary lyricism about troubles in his neighborhood and personal vendettas, Durk’s new adventures have always felt like his public persona was that much more interesting. than his own music. Often waiting for features to appear, Durk’s music has become strangely oversaturated and faceless with how much it must have to say about his turbulent life. Now returning with a general air of positivity and anti-violence, which he preaches on multiple tracks here after the loss of his brother, Durk’s general lack of direction becomes even more apparent when a couple of the tunes still appear. habitual of him. throughout.

After an introduction by Alicia Keys using her calming voice to play the therapist, she encourages Durk to speak his mind and express his vulnerabilities. While she does that on this project, it’s a bit ridiculous that the first real track is “Pelle Coat,” where Durk threatens violent revenge. There are some serious mixing issues throughout the album; sometimes it’s the rhythm, but Durk’s vocals filter through much more awkwardly than usual. He sounds nasal and robotic here, pushed into the background, and the weird burp inflections of the old revival don’t help him in that area. The real opener should have been the single “All My Life”, a soulful song with a catchy and memorable hook from a children’s choir. Durk drops a few bars about talking to government officials and trying to change the system with some warm, introspective synth chords, adding some attractively quirky Young Thug-esque inflections, while J. Cole’s verse sees him enter the role of mature father figure, closing with hoping to see rappers die of old age. They put most of the instruments that aren’t totally derivative snooze-fest near the beginning, and the piano melody of “Never Again” is another. Durk has a few lines about people being parrots and generic, which is ironic, because he’s quickly reaching NBA YoungBoy levels of dropping music that shows him proving nothing new. We don’t need to hear 2018 style trap songs number 100-120 from him. “Put Em On Ice” and “Big Dawg” continue with some obnoxiously repetitive hooks, Durk’s voice listless and single-note. The latter’s rumbling bass and a signature Boss Wuk certainly capture the energy, which was desperately needed.

Durk’s general feeling of being non-essential to the rap game continues when you see how lumpy his setlist can be at times. Future essentially takes over on the track “Never Imagined”, which makes me wonder if we’ll ever get to the point where every major, unambitious rap album doesn’t have a mediocre Future feature, and on the next track “Sad Songs “We found Durk. talking about going “toxic for two months,” as if other rappers’ business cards were just something to try. Even more offensive (for different reasons) in the same song is Durk saying the r-slur and an irregular falsetto. As the album transitions into its second half, we also have “You Got Em,” which sounds eerily like a watered-down “Super Gremlin,” just before “Grandson,” which boasts a long standard Kodak Black feature. Between these, Durk places two hard-hitting trap songs, and even on these, it’s hard to get emotional because he’s done the same thing with so much more energy and passion before, especially when they end abruptly after two minutes. It mostly sounds, understandably, like his heart isn’t in it. However, “War Bout It” boasts a great feature from 21 Savage, and Durk’s second verse sees him doing his best to match.

Despite the lack of innovation on this project, Durk has, of course, said hundreds, if not thousands, of menacing rap beats in his lifetime, but one of the best appears in the song “300 Urus”: “Flava Flav around his neck.” , that boy lives with a watch.” The track actually stands on its own here, as Durk changes his flow on the hook and, as usual, sounds less robotic when he’s talking about something personal and calling gang affiliates by his name. “Same Side”, however, gets most of that goodwill with ridiculously poor mixing and an offbeat feature from Rob49. His vocals mixed under the most obnoxiously busy instrumental on the album, sounds like a total mess. “B12”, too, makes me wonder what kind of rapper you have to be to blatantly try to emulate someone younger on purpose. Dropping Yeat’s bell effect into the mix and giving his best impression, Durk remains the most understated of his own album. Most of the tracks here are competent, they’re incredibly derivative.

“At This Point We Stuck” continues things with a sub-2-minute song featuring screaming flows and weird throwing, before Durk and crew continue to explore Juice WRLD’s catalog to its full worth as he drops a short verse. in a clearly unfinished. , leftovers from Juice that barely rhyme with “Cross the Globe”. “Dru Hill” finds him channeling his inner Rod Wave with a plaintive piano track, and while his TMI X-rated bars had been mostly absent on this project, for whatever reason, he brings them back at the most inopportune moment. . Unfortunately, a late gem with a fiery, gripping trap beat is titled “Belt2Ass.” Unfortunately, Durk’s second collaboration with Morgan Wallen is much better than his embarrassing first, as the country star throws in a legitimately catchy hook. “Moment of Truth,” finally, is a close that’s barely distinguishable from most of the other tracks here.

With everything going on around him, it looks like it’s about time Durk took a break. He’s shown he’s capable of making compelling, punchy melodies in the past, and taking some time to clear his head and legitimately get into the positive headspace he preaches about and fails to get here could be good for him.

Favorite tracks: All My Life, War Bout It, 300 Urus

Least Favorite Track: Sad Songs

Score: 4/10

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