Unless you’ve lived under a rock the last decade, then you’re at least casually aware of the reported surge in violence that’s been happening in Chicago, specifically on the Southside. While the city has done all that it’s can do to make it better–and it has–one of the main things that’s been keeping these kids off of the street is music, and that’s in largely thanks to artists like fellow Chicago native, Lil Durk. Rising through the ranks of Chicago’s violent, yet close-knit, Drill scene, Durk has blossomed into one of the best examples of how to make it out of the struggle. But it’s not that he just got rich and left, it’s the opposite. Instead, he built his Only The Family organization and has given career chances to many of his friends, including Booka600, Jusblow600, King Von, OTF IKEY, Memo600 & Doodie Lo, who make up the OTF family. Looking to further their status, Durk and OTF team up for one of the best group projects of 2019 in, Family Over Everything.
At 16-tracks, you would expect, Family Over Everything to be congested due to the amount of collaborators and tracks, but it’s the complete opposite. At a running time of 42-minutes, the project hardly ever feels stagnant, if at all, and is sequenced beautifully the way the songs run together. Calling on a list of features including, NLE Choppa, Polo G, G Herbo, Lil’ Tjay and more, one of the more impressive qualities about the album lies in it’s creators’ masterful ability to neither outshine, nor take a backseat to the star studded guest features, which is tough, especially for newer or not as well-known names.
As for the standout tracks from the project, “Career Day,” a heartfelt collab from Durk and Polo G that sees them reflecting on lost lives, drug use and alternate career paths stands as one, while, “The Hood,” does a fantastic job of establishing Booka as a legitimate star in the making with his wildly infectious vocal tone and his heart-wrenching storytelling style. Others include, “Fake Love,” a calculated radio hit that has Lil Durk sounding like Tevin Campbell with charges over his head, and, “Riot,” a socially aware collaboration between Durk and Herbo. This song right here takes everything full circle, as the two pioneers of the Drill scene emotionally talk about the many issues they face, just trying to do some good things for kids in their city. Durk speaks so much truth in the first verse, that I wouldn’t even be doing it justice by highlighting just one line.
In all, Family Over Everything is exactly what its’ title suggests. Throughout all 16-tracks, the one thing that’s blatantly apparent is how much Durk loves his soldiers, and how much they respect him. In a world full of egos, self-driven motives and malice, Durk surrounded himself with family and created a world of his own, for everybody around him. Check out the project below and stay hip to OTF and Lil Durk.