Only The Family & Lil Durk Present: Loyal Bros
March 24, 2021
On March 5th, 2021, Lil Durk and the rap collective Only The Family (OTF) released their fourth full length project “Loyal Bros.” Debuting at number 12 on the Billboard 200 Chart, the album features Durk, Memo600, Booka600, Doodie Lo, Jusblow600 and others. The project also boasts a number of prevalent features ranging from Tee Grizzley to Lil Uzi Vert, and BIG30. The album most notably contains a number of appearances from the late King Von, another prominent member of the OTF collective.
The opening track to the project, “JUMP” features Lil Durk, Booka600, Memo600, and King Von. Arguably the longest tenured members of OTF, both Memo and Booka have known Durk and Von since they were all kids growing up together on the Southside of Chicago. This song is a great example of the variety that OTF has come to offer, as this track is soft and somber, a far cry from the traditional drill style. On this cut Von raps “well I guess we ain’t the guys no more, when you see a n***a killed yo brother you don’t ask just blow.” Throughout this song, and the album in its entirety the members of OTF pay homage to Von’s legacy and memory. However it is lines like this one that remind us of the groups violent past, and how that violence ultimately claimed Von’s life.
One of the more popular cuts on the project, and coming in at track number three is “Let It Blow” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. On this track Memo600 takes control on the chorus chiding, “I ain’t with the beefin, come outside b*tch, and let it blow.” After the intro and chorus, Lil Uzi comes in on the first verse flowing, “lets go, my Balmain’s, they be hangin low, that .40 with a .30 on my side f*ck n***a don’t get smoked.” The fourth OTF project is a great example of how the collective has grown, not just in skill, but also in connections as this project contains some crazy verses from some of the biggest rap artists around.
Another one of my personal favorite tracks, “Took Down” featuring BIG30 is another great example of OTF’s collaborative ability. On this cut BIG30 weaves the threads of the chorus spitting, “before rappin, swear I was a good n***a, I just took pounds, I just took off plugs who didn’t show love, now how do that sound?” A native of Memphis Tennessee, BIG30 is definitely a big artist at the moment and was prominently featured on some of the most anticipated projects of the year including Pooh Shiesty’s debut mixtape. Following the chorus, OTF’s own Doodie Lo begins the first verse of the track with the memorable lines, “before this rap s**t I sold a hundred pounds a f*cking week, 20k in Glocks, but we’ll give these n****s smoke for free.” “Took Down” is one of many tracks on the project that is a return to the classically aggressive style of Chicago Drill which is why I love it. Although I do appreciate the variety of the project, as well as OTF’s willingness to show some emotion, “Took Down” and other trap-drill anthems like it are why I listened to this project in the first place.
Coming in at track number ten, “Game Face” featuring Tee Grizzley is another prime example of how this album shows OTF in a new humanizing light. On the chorus to the track Booka600 sings “Von died, we kept that game face, he hate when n****s cry, in this world you either real or fake, I hate when n****s lie.” Although this track is undoubtedly emotional, the first chorus from Tee Grizzley reminds us this still a drill album, with the Detroit native rapping, “I was a shorty, s**ttin’ on n****s that’s forty, they gon take what? I aint worried, we up four n****s and forties.”
The final song on the album, coming in at track number 23 was a big surprise. Titled “Apart” the track is the one and only time on the project that Booka600, or any member of OTF other than Durk, appears by themselves. In addition, Booka sings the entire time and actually does a great job. On the opening of the song Booka sings “for every hood, you had a lecture with O’Block, to change the message, we done shared the same sweaters, same shoes, and same Beretta.” Although Booka reminisces on his lost friends and family who died due to gang violence, he also highlights the bright future ahead for OTF, “Durk goin to the Grammys “this one’s for you” we keep on chantin’ and this built off loyalty, know that we the real mechanics.”
The fourth offering from the Only The Family rap collective, “Loyal Bros” is definitely worth the listen. Offering both new emotions, insights, and the same hard hitting Chicago Drill style, Durk and the rest of OTF undoubtedly delivered on this project. Although the collective lost a lot this year with the death of King Von, they ultimately came out on top, with Durk’s most recent release, “The Voice” deluxe edition doing crazy numbers. Although many of the tracks are somber it is good to see the group still on their feet and doing what they love.