Everyone needs a little therapy, and Lil Durk — who lost his friend and frequent collaborator King Von in 2020 and his brother DThang in 2021, and whose long-running beef with YoungBoy Never Broke Again (partly related to Von’s murder) has been all over the internet again this month — is certainly no exception.
In a new Steve Cannon-directed clip debuting the first two tracks on Dirk’s new album Almost Healed — out tomorrow (May 26) via Alamo — he gets some much needed time on the couch. In “Therapy Session,” the album’s intro and roughly the video’s first third, he takes in some wisdom from none other than Alicia Keys, who’s become something of a mental health guru after her own well-documented struggles with mental illness early in her career.
“I can only imagine how painful that must’ve been,” Keys says in a soothing tone, referencing the back-to-back deaths in Dirk’s life. “I wanna know how you feel about the rap beef on top of all the chaos. Despite all this, you continue to be a warrior, a leader in the rap industry, and a voice in your community. And I want you to feel completely safe in this room. Nobody can hurt you. It’s OK to express your vulnerabilities and emotions. This is a judgment-free zone, and I encourage you to let your emotions out and express yourself freely. Take a deep breath, and focus on the present moment.” As she speaks, the camera pans over Dirk, who appears to be in a deep state of hypnosis.
“Today is May 26,” Keys continues (a day early). “Remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. I’m here to listen. You have the voice in this room. I wanna hear from Dirk Banks.”
At this point, Dirk is startled awake in the driver’s seat of his car. He looks over both shoulders, and a single tear rolls down his cheek. Finally, he’s ready to launch into the album’s de facto opener, “Pelle Coat,” a four-minute cut in which the Chicago rapper proceeds to unload some of the burdens Keys has laid out over a simple, minor-key trap beat. For the rest of the video, he rides around his city late at night, surveying street scenes until he arrives at a run-down building with a hand-painted sign that reads “Universal Communication Among Brothers: A Community-Based Violence Prevention Organization” above the door. He enters and joins a Muslim prayer session, finally finding a moment of peace as the clip comes to a close. Watch it above.