Updated: Aug 23
Hip hop records like this are special in that they seemingly only come around every so often, I wish these types of records permeated the culture but light can't exist without the darkness. All My Life by Lil Durk featuring J. Cole contains the essence of Lupe's Hip Hop Saved My Life, Faith Evans Hope featuring Twista, P. Diddy and Faith Evans I'll Be Missing You, I Can by Nas, If I Ruled The World by Nas; All My Life reminds me of all these records, and even more, the melody feels slightly borrowed from something historic and ultra famous, but perhaps its purely original, the beauty of music is how hard it can be to tell where influence originates.
The track begins with J. Cole rapping about how Lil Durk hit him up about being more positive in rap, and throughout the record you see J. Cole in this sort of mentoring role that brings about an even more artistic and emotional side of Durkio. The songs consist of rap verses of light singing with J. Cole taking lead to Lil Durk, and a children's choir singing the chorus. The children's chorus is incredibly powerful and hits you like a wall of sound.
In the video you'll see J. Cole and Lil Durk perform their raps with children all around outside a modest looking family home, everyone smiley, and it shows a role model side of the two rappers that is honestly so rare these days in mainstream hip hop.
"I decided I had to finish, but the media called me a menace" raps Lil Durk, inferring how the media portrays him due to his Chicago gangster drill background. "You can't blame my past no more, I come from the trenches!" "I know a felon who trying to get FOID" this line by Durkio stuck out to me because I actually have homies with felonies who'd like to and need to conceal carry but the legal system makes that difficult. J. Cole comes in with a second verse entirely detailing how awful it is that the media will wait until after a young rapper's demise before they ever covered him or gave him press. He weaves in a message about how the media should be barred from only putting out content about rappers once they're killed or die tragically. As impossible as that sounds it would be ideal for the culture.
J. Cole and Lil Durk delivered a powerful record infused with some of the deepest messages that are both much needed and timely relevant. Themes of lets put the guns down, and lets stop sensationalizing the deaths of young artists and instead build them up while they're alive.