Not even two weeks ago, Chicago legend Lil Durk took over the music industry once again with the release of his most recent mixtape Just Cause Y’all Waited 2. I covered a few singles as he released them leading up to the drop, and every single one got me excited for what was to come. When it finally arrived, I have to say that I was left pretty speechless. While I thought it couldn’t get much better than singles like “Chiraq Demons” featuring G Herbo or “3 Headed Goat” which featured Lil Baby and Polo G, I was totally wrong. Durk masterfully used a mixture of melodic, telling, emotional tales of the streets and aggressive, violent, vivid recalls of some of the most intense experiences he’s ever had. This combination along with some flexes and appreciation for the things that music has gotten him throughout his life all came together for a wonderful new project which is one that’s going to stand the test of time, in my opinion.
One of the project’s more lighthearted, less intense songs is “Street Prayer”, which now has an intriguing new music video to pair with it. Plucky, heroic synths pair with what sounds like a digitally effected violin of sorts before the percussion and drums come in to turn this from a make-believe ballad to a slightly more traditional and expressive instrumental. Durk’s words aren’t too over the top and his cadences aren’t nearly as complicated or diverse as he has been known to spit right off the bat, but the lyrics he’s speaking of do a perfect job of conveying just how important he is to the streets. His voice is melodic and although it’s no secret at this point that he knows how to manipulate his autotune vocals like a veteran, he does it so well on this track once again in such a flawless yet effortless fashion.
On the hook, he sings about how people in the streets need prayer, and the background hums that are full of vocal effects just take over the song in an overly inspiring, emotional, and passionate manner, truly making me believe this message more than ever. Although he talks about specific instances where crime and violence took over his life, he doesn’t do these to brag, but rather to note how this was a part of his life and it helped form him into the person he is today. It shows that he’d do anything for his crew, telling us exactly how loyal he is without just blatantly coming out and saying it. Beyond this, he does mention things like not wanting to die young, taking the blame for someone else if they get caught doing something illegal, and how the streets took some of the people he was closest to at such a young age, as he remembers and honors them.
As the music video opens up, a fleet of large, shiny SUVs pulls up next to a stretch of homeless people who have set up their makeshift homes alongside one another underneath a bridge. The scene is broken up with the rapper sitting in a dark room alone, surrounded by gold decorations and books as he’s decked out in traditional Islamic clothing. Finally, they return to the original scene as the less fortunate surround Durk and his crew, allowing the artist and his people to hand out food to these struggling individuals. Heavy themes of the Islam faith are continuously sprawled throughout, as this is the religion that Durk practices, and he can be seen praying as well as being surrounded by other people dressed in a similar way as he is. A little more than halfway through, Durk is incarcerated in a cell where he reads unfortunate notes that speak on the loss of his brothers on the outside, which he clearly struggles with as he continues to remain locked up. There are hardly any alterations or effects throughout, but Durk’s emotional disposition as he recites his lines throughout really give this video depth and make it extremely interesting to watch.
Lil Durk has gone from simply a Chicago drill legend to a legend in the overall music industry. No matter how big and famous he becomes, he makes sure to never forget where he came from as he uses these experiences to fuel his fire and continue to cement his legacy. This fact has been clear before, but this song just proves that he wants the best for everyone in his city and not just himself. Although he has always had the backs of his day one group, he now shows that he has the backs of those who aren’t as fortunate as he is and handing out a bunch of food to these people is just one of the many different ways he is able to show some of the nice, helpful things that he is doing. Clearly, he doesn’t have to do these things, but it proves how much of a stand-up person he is, and he wants to make a difference in this world beyond just music. “Street Prayer” is an expressive ballad for the streets and the visual impressively backs up the ideas he expresses, so give it a view whenever you get a moment.