Lil Durk is no newcomer to the rap scene, but over the last year, he's had an apparent resurgence that's evident in his momentous hit-making run. He's offered alley-oops on songs from other artists like Drake's "Laugh Now Cry Laughter," "Back in Blood" by Pooh Shiesty and the remix to Coi Leray's "No More Parties," which recently achieved RIAA gold status. But when Durkio isn't adding complementary layers to other artists' records, he's making bangers of his own over his signature production that rising producers try to mimic, which can also be deemed as Lil Durk type beats.
In December of 2020, Durk dropped his sixth album, The Voice, with the deluxe edition arriving in January of this year. A clear proponent of rapper-singer vibes, Lil Durk has become a master at melodic trap-rap music. And in doing so, he's developed a knack for utilizing instrument-heavy backdrops to act as a backbone for his melodious cadence, which is typically soulful and piano-laced. On "The Voice," released in 2020, and constructed by beatsmiths TurnmeupJosh, LowLowTurnMeUp and Ayo Bleu, the keys are mellow but rich and bright while supporting a subtle bass and warm guitar strums.
The thing about Durk, though, is his beats range from mid-tempo, to high energy and he sometimes reverts back to Chicago drill, but adds up-to-date flavor. "Stay Down," the second single from The Voice album, which was produced by Metro Boomin and DY, has a mildly pulsating bass with irregular rhythms. At points, the drums are more prominent and other times, the synths steal the show.
The Chi-town native, who made waves in the early 2010s in his hometown's trailblazing drill scene, offered an elevated drill track in January of this year, featuring kicking drums and euphoric piano keys on "Finesse Out the Gang Way" with Lil Baby, whom Lil Durk is supposedly dropping a new mixtape with in the near future.
Then there's the Cicero and Aviator Keyyz-crafted "3 Headed Goat" from Durkio's 2020 album, Just Cause Y'all Waited 2, also featuring Lil Baby and fellow Chicago rapper Polo G. The fierce yet energetic track includes production that is dark and menacing. Starting off with a continuum of harmonics, the sonics are balanced out with thudding bass.
Lil Durk presents a duality of rhythmic melodies while also delivering sounds for the streets. On his 2019 album, Love Songs 4 the Streets 2, there are entrancing, mischievous feels by way of piercing drums, like on the DY-produced "Like That" featuring the late King Von, who was signed to Durk's Only The Family label prior to his tragic passing last November.
Over the last 10-plus years that Durkio has been in the rap game, his lyrical and beat-selecting ability has expanded. However, he's been unwavering in offering a balance of R&B adjacent tracks and 808 low-bass kick joints like the smooth and sultry "Like Me" featuring Chicago crooner Jeremih, which appears on the rapper's 2015 debut album, Remember My Name, and is produced by Vinylz, Boi-1da and Allen Ritter. And let's not forget his penchant for ominous-trap beats that can be heard on the DonisBeats-produced "Money Walk" with Yo Gotti on Lil Durk 2X, which dropped in 2016.
Lil Durk doesn't have one route to get to his goal: a successful hit song over a top-notch beat. And because of this, tons of producers have tried to create similar instrumentals that replicate what Durkio would rhyme on. Some examples of those Lil Durk type beats can be found below.
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