Eif Rievra directed the stark, black-and-white video for Lil Durk’s excellent “Dis Ain’t What U Want,” shot outside Durk’s grandmother’s house in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. The song is the first in a series of summer singles being pushed by Def Jam, who picked up Durk last year at the height of Chicago rap’s Kanye cosign-induced notoriety. Durk says the label has been a serious partner, anticipating the success of his upcoming mixtape, Signed to the Streets, set to feature Meek Mill, French Montana, Ca$h Out and Rick Ross. (Durk will also appear on Meek Mill’s upcoming tape, reportedly out June 23rd.) Over the phone this week, he talked about making “Dis Ain’t What U Want,” getting off parole and where he wants to raise his kid.
Where did you film? We’re in the neighborhood I grew up at. That’s Englewood, on my grandma’s block. She still lives over there. I thought we should shoot it there cause that’s where I grew up at. The meaning behind the video was showing the struggle parts of life in Chicago and the good part too. The rap part that’s keeping us out of trouble. I didn’t wanna be shooting in no studio, I’m trying to show what’s really going on a little bit.
Who’s in the video with you? Couple of my guys I grew up with. Couple of people we ride with. Everybody together. Weren’t really no faces in there that are new.
Do you still live in Englewood? On and off. I’m on parole so I can’t really do nothing. I get off in July.
Has being on parole prevented you from playing shows? They was trying, but they couldn’t do that because that’s my job.
What do you mean when you say I can’t do no shows cause I’m terrified of my city/ They say I terrify my city? We used to get blamed for everything that happens in Chicago. When something happens in Chicago, they blame us, our lyrics and all that. Every show would get cancelled. Canceling all these events and not letting us come into places, that puts a lot of stress on me. But hopefully all that weight adds more to you, makes you feel more smarter. You learn from every mistake.
Has your Def Jam deal affected your relationships in the neighborhood? Not really, because I don’t act different. If you act different then maybe people will start looking at you different and start hating on you. People hate on you regardless but if I show love and still just show my face and be around and support, they ain’t really going to hate, they’re just going to support me.
Is your album coming out this year? It all depends on how the mixtape do. If you get signed you gotta work hard for the label to even pay attention to you. That’s what we’ve been doing for the last year. Gotta lot work to do now. You can’t tweet anything and you gotta watch your every move, because you get more attention now. You can’t do everything you was doing before you got signed.
Where do want to raise your son, Angelo? I’m a fix somewhere for him to be cool, but not in the streets. Definitely not Chicago. Not in Chicago at all. You see how the murder rate is.