“I’m the Voice, Baby He the Hero,” Lil Durk and Lil Baby’s highly anticipated album on track to clear 200K in sales
June 7, 2021
On Friday June 4th after much anticipation Lil Durk and Lil Baby released their debut collaborative project “Voice of the Heroes.” Coming in at just under 60 minutes of total playtime with 18 tracks, the album also contains appearances from industry heavyweights like Travis Scott, Meek Mill, Young Thug, and Rod Wave. As of June 7th the album is estimated to have moved somewhere in the ballpark of 160,000 to 190,000 album equivalent units via streaming platforms, with 4,000 to 7,000 in pure album sales. It is safe to say that the project will move somewhere around 200K to 250K units in its first week alone.
The first collaborative project between Atlanta-mainstay Lil Baby and Chicago legend Lil Durk “Voice of the Heroes” plays off the moniker Durk gave himself and Baby around the time of the release of his 2020 Album “The Voice.” To build anticipation for the albums release the duo teased the track “Voice of the Heroes” on May 31st. The track produced by TouchofTrent and Haze appears first on the project and currently boasts over 5 million streams on Spotify alone. On the first verse to the track Durk raps, “take care of your family and them kids ’cause im too big on family, f**k them fast cars, before that shawty ‘nem was gon’ slide in Camrys.” “Voice of the Heroes” is a testament to Durk and Baby’s ongoing street affiliation as the Atlanta MC chides, “and im with Ced still, we the ones for real for real, I just got two hundred for a walk through, I’ll still drill.” In this bar Baby references one of his break out hits “Freestyle” which appeared on his 2018 album “Too Hard.” On that track which debuted in 2017 Baby says, “me and Ced get them loads” in reference to him and his friends getting money by selling contraband. Four years later on “Voice of the Heroes” Baby still rides with the same ones and is still taking risks.
Following the self-titled opening track comes “2040.” On this cut Baby starts the song by stating, “I’m doin’ donuts in my neighborhood, it made me feel good, I swore I would never do that s**t again, but still do it.” Despite his numerous awards, accolades, and current dominance in the hip hop game Baby reminds the listener that he still has one foot in the streets. Baby also takes the chorus on this track rapping, “I be playing with that fire like im John Wick, don’t be walking up on me, I’ll be ballin til 2040 I promise im not for the moment.” Bringing it all home at the end of the track is Durk. On his verse he reminds us of his ability to make hits and his dominance starting in 2020, “I’m lucky, you lucky, just ask Smurk, put an opp inside a wood first, you s**k it good you get a purse, twenty-million I was in the trenches I just stand on business, Im the “Voice,” can’t give out a bad verse.”
Coming in at track number three is perhaps one of my favorite songs on the project “Hats Off” featuring Travis Scott. Starting off the song is Lil Baby with one of his more iconic lines on the album, “change my name to the kid that’s a baby goat, keep a Drac’ like I started OVO, you can get a percent but I want the most.” Starting with the release of the track “Yes Indeed” in 2018 Lil Baby has gone on to work with OVO’s Drake on multiple songs. Since he entered the rap scene in 2016 Baby has been building his catalogue and now challenges traditional artists that would qualify for the title of “G.O.A.T.”(Greatest Of All Time) like Drake and others.
Following Baby on the first verse and chorus comes Lil Durk on verse two. Paying homage to King Von who was killed in early November of last year as well as his other fallen OTF members Durk comes in heavy on his verse rapping, “B***h I’m a D-boy, do it for T.Roy, I’m on you forever, that’s word to V.Roy, Im with the killers forever the trenches is in me.” Since Durk began his musical career in earnest in 2015 he has been surrounded by an abnormal amount of death. Prior to Von’s passing Durk lost numerous friends and family members to gun violence in Chicago. Most recently Durk’s older brother and fellow OTF rapper DThang was shot and killed outside of a nightclub in Harvey Illinois. Brining up the back half of the track is Travis Scott who raps, “After this drop, then it’s only the label, you see the crosses surrounding the table, but we never crosses, we flip ya, alfredo, bro do it silent without a potato.” With the first half of the verse a reference to the Cactus Jack music label and apparel line, and with the second half a reference to high-tech firearms, Travis delivers a classic verse on the first cut of the album to contain a feature.
Other than “Hats Off” my favorite cut from the project has to be “Who I Want” which comes in at track number four. Unlike most of the other songs on the album this track features Lil Durk on the chorus which is a nice change of pace. On the chorus Durk sings “I can’t split rent with my lil’ b***h, that’s some s**t you would do to a h*, I even told you h**s I hit, some s**t im ‘posed to kept on the low but its you who I want, but its you who I want.” Following Durk on the chorus comes Lil Baby on the first verse rapping “I’ll make a scene for you, when you sleeping with me then your dreams come true, ain’t no limitations to the things we do.” “Who I Want,” while still performed over a booming trap beat is one of the softer and more lowkey cuts from the project. Although I like Durk and Baby for their hard hitting trap-drill style I also appreciate a smooth love song when it comes along.
On track to clear 200,000 album equivalent units or more, “Voice of the Heroes” is surely going to be one of the most successful commercial hip hop releases in 2021. My personal favorite tracks besides those mentioned above are “Lying,” “If You Want To,” and “Rich Off Pain” featuring Rod Wave. “Voice of the Heroes” is available now on all streaming platforms and I highly recommend giving it a listen as it more than measures up to the hype!