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Only the Family - Only the Family - Lil Durk Presents: Loyal Bros Music Album Reviews

Only the Family - Only the Family - Lil Durk Presents: Loyal Bros Music Album Reviews
Chicago drill star Lil Durk cedes the floor to his capable crew on a 23-song victory lap that memorializes his own hard-earned fame alongside the memory of his late protégé, King Von.

Lil Durk has spent the past decade on a long, grueling trip to success. The Chicago rapper began his career on Myspace in 2010, fresh out of high school and filled with ambition. By 2013, his melodic, war-torn stories led to a deal with Def Jam. But a series of setbacks threatened to derail his ascent: A short-lived rivalry with fellow drill pioneer Chief Keef, several felony charges, his departure from Def Jam in 2018, and, most notably, the shooting deaths of his cousin OTF Nunu in 2014, friend and former manager OTF Chino Dolla in 2015, and protégé King Von this past November. Durk persevered through it all, moving to Atlanta and steadily releasing new music, culminating in the one-two punch of his feature on Drake’s smash hit “Laugh Now, Cry Later” and the release of his sixth studio album, The Voice, last December.

So if anyone has earned the right to host an album-length victory lap with their peers, it’s Lil Durk. Only the Family - Lil Durk Presents: Loyal Bros, released barely three months after The Voice, uses Durk’s second wind to give his Only the Family collective—comprised of Memo600, Booka600, Lil Mexico, Doodie Lo, Slimelife Shawty, Chief Wuk, THF Zoo, and the late Von—a chance to impress on a national scale. Having survived the vice grip of the industry once, Durk is ready to clear the safest possible path for his squad. “I fell off once and I’m still lit,” he croons confidently on opening song “JUMP.” It’s all the more refreshing, then, to see him take a backseat; he appears on only six of the album’s 23 songs, largely ceding the floor to his crew, who prove to be up to the challenge.

Loyal Bros is hardcore Chicago drill through and through, setting dispatches from the trenches of street life over ominous minor-key melodies and 808s capable of punching holes in your chest. The album’s velocity translates to the group’s interplay, which is fluid and piercing. Though ultimately too long for its own good, Loyal Bros is well-sequenced and fine-tuned, providing breathing room to nearly two dozen different artists without devolving into a clown-car pileup.

On “Do It for Von,” Booka600, Memo600, and THF Zoo pass flawless laterals across one winding verse. The duo tracks play to the group’s strongest relationships (like Durk and Slimelife Shawty on “Dying 2 Hit’em”) and find exciting contrasts in outside guests (Lil Uzi Vert steals the show on “Let It Blow” and Detroit neighbor Tee Grizzley runs off with two different songs). “Kennedy,” a solo showcase for member Lil Mexico, sounds ready to devour space on playlists and radio. Unlike Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III compilation, which leapfrogged effortlessly between different styles of contemporary rap and R&B, Loyal Bros’ hyper-focus on drill aims to demonstrate the strength of the collective’s bond through its grasp of their hometown style.

The OTF bond feels even more crucial in the face of King Von’s untimely passing. Loyal Bros features one song released in Von’s lifetime (“Me and Doodie Lo”) as well as two posthumous verses, all showcases for his sharp diction and gift for straightforward storytelling. On “Me and Doodie Lo,” Von and Lo trade stories like war veterans over a staccato beat, bringing decaying bodies and their own stoic remorse vividly to life. Of all the OTF members, it’s Von whose verses most closely match the emotional fervor of Durk, and the spirit of their fallen lieutenant rallies the entire collective. “Von died, we kept that game face, he hate when niggas cry,” Booka600 laments on “Game Face.”

Even in the face of tremendous loss, the OTF unit stands tall on Loyal Bros. Durk’s belief in his brethren manifests on a record that not only acts as a coda to his own hard-earned stardom but helps the collective shine as a whole. No one rises to the vacant spot left by Von, probably by design. Loyal Bros is a family affair, one that distances itself from the genre excursions of Durk’s recent solo work to stay rooted in traditions of Chicago drill as old as OTF themselves.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Only the Family - Only the Family - Lil Durk Presents: Loyal Bros Music Album Reviews Only the Family - Only the Family - Lil Durk Presents: Loyal Bros Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 Rating: 5

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