Lil Durk • "Shoot Sum"

This is Lil Durk’s warning. While the OTF rapper is commercially on top of the world right now, there’s room to argue he's got something to prove at this juncture in his career. Lil Durk has always had bars and an ear for songwriting, but for a minute it seemed that he'd lost grip on his voice as an artist, a rapper that could combine sing-song escapism with a bleak reality’s honesty. His 300 Days 300 Nights project didn’t land with quite the impact he would have wanted, and now we have LilDurk2X coming to leave a giant "OTF" shaped crater on Chicago's rap scene.

If you listen to his recent “Mud” video off 300 Days 300 Nights and then listen to this, you can get an idea of how the projects might be different. “Mud” is victory-lap Durk, and an undeniably enjoyable track. But the fact remains, it doesn’t have that edge (sound, not content) that made us fans in the first place. Production may have been a large factor, and “Shoot Sum” gives us what we want in that regard, with a beat that doesn’t swoon but pounds, and Durk vocals that only veer into ballad on the chorus. The verses are left as proving grounds for Lil Durk’s hunger, and his recent take on Lud Foe's smash "Cuttin Up" demonstrated the same thing. Expect this contrast to be intentional, and any Lil Durk fan should be excited for what’s in store from the talented Englewood rapper based on this sample.