If industry pioneer Soulja Boy set the tone for how his generation’s rap is distributed, KEY! is the artist who influenced its dominant sound and swagger, serving as an unofficial “A&R” for both Atlanta’s emerging talent and the SoundCloud generation, never resting on his laurels for a second.
Durk’s latest album, The Voice, isn’t celebratory in tone. Much of it is a poignant look into the pain, loss, and tragedy that have surrounded his ascent. “I always found my lane was to be soulful, to speak to my past,” he tells Atoosa Moinzadeh.
In just four years, Lil Baby has attained all the signifiers of modern rap excellence — hyperproductivity, a heavy presence on the charts, and a growing list of successful neophytes — and it only took him about half as long as it did for his predecessors.
“My music is talking about my perspective, but also trying to tap into everybody else's mind, being like, ‘Do you feel this way? Are you sad some days? Do you cry in the shower? I do too. Let's talk about it.’”