Lil Durk “Almost Healed” Review

A little over a year after Lil Durk’s “7220,” the Chicago icon is officially back with his eighth studio album “Almost Healed.”

BYCaleb Hardy
Lil Durk “Almost Healed” Review

Lil Durk is no longer a newcomer to the hip-hop scene. In the last decade, Durk's rose from the underground buzz of Chicago's drill scene into one of the biggest names in music. However, in the past few years, he's clocked in a collaborative project with Lil Baby and an iconic feature on Drake's "Laugh Now Cry Later" that led to his massive commercial success. He went from a high-school dropout with numerous run-ins with the law to decked-out Rolls Royces and multiple real estate properties. But despite the evolution in his life, his latest album sees him stray away from stories surrounding his lavish lifestyle. Instead, the hard reality of fatherhood and sustainability in the hip-hop industry is setting in. 7220 touched on these topics, with Durk's crooning bars becoming the highlight of the album. However, Almost Healed does so in an even more revealing manner.

The album title gives it all away for Lil Durk's Almost Healed. Returning a little over a year after his 2022 album 7220, the narrative focuses on the Chicago MC's personal development, touching on how his aspirations to become a better man as a father and an artist. Ahead of the project, he released hit lead single "All My Life" with Dreamville's J Cole. The two muse on the state of the hip-hop industry. Durk states, "I done sat with mayor and politicians, I'm tryna change the image." Cole vehemently spits, "If you ain't never posted a rapper when he was alive / You can't post about him after he gets hit." The in-depth political and street-induced themes of "All My Life" continues throughout Almost Heated.

Lil Durk Focuses On Personal Growth

Lil Durk recently eclipsed the 30-year-old mark. Therefore, he's beginning to reflect on the trials and mistakes of his formative years. Many of his close friends who he grew up with in Chicago are still struggling to make it out, relying on crime or unemployment benefits to make ends meet. In addition, children are exposed to a world of drug addiction far before they're able to mature. With Lil Durk throwing an ugly spotlight onto these topics, he's looking to bring greater awareness to the struggles in Chicago. However, Almost Healed isn't the first time Lil Durk has opted to rap about reality rather than grandiosity. It's why the certified rap star has self-proclaimed himself as "The Voice."

Durk takes the listener through his healing process by inscribing how he's processing the losses of his brother DThang and close friend, King Von. With each passing within a matter of months of each other, Durk has been through a lot since the outset of the 2020s. Alicia Keys sets the stage on album opener, "Therapy Session." The vocal icon states, "How you feel about the rap beef on top of all of the chaos? / Despite all this, you continue to be a warrior, a leader in the rap industry / And the voice in your community."

Almost Healed also recruits artists such as 21 Savage, Kodak Black, and more. In a sense, it's symbolic of Durk's conscious approach to the company he keeps, whether in his personal life or in the music industry. On "Never Again," he struggles with the notion of giving back against the melodic piano chords. Durk passionately repeats, "Think I'ma help 'em, won't help 'em again."

Almost Healed Has Its Highs And Lows

Almost Healed is Lil Durk's most vulnerable project to date. However, the project falters due to its bloated track listing and sonic inconsistencies. The country-trap formula of the Morgan Wallen-aided "Stand By Me" is blatantly looking to recreate the magic of 7220's "Broadway Girls." It's understandable, considering the track eclipsed 200 million streams on Spotify alone. In addition, the album's 21-song track list makes for a tedious listen. The middle portion of Almost Healed drags both sonically and narratively. Durk's verses begin implying personal regression rather than the healing process that the album titles suggest. This becomes most apparent on tracks such as "Before Fajr" and "War Bout It," which contradict the more positive revelations on songs such as "All My Life."

Even if the overall record isn't Lil Durk's most consistent work, tracks such as the Future-aided "Never Imagined' make it more than worth a listen. Future’s flow is captivating, with the two demonstrating seamless chemistry throughout the track. With a sentimental beat and a melodic flow from Durk, the production complements his vocal pallet skillfully. Almost Healed sees the 30-year-old rebrand himself into a more thoughtful MC. While the singing attempts don't always land, the nearly hour-long effort compacts the highs and lows of where Lil Durk is at both musically and personally.

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