Lil Durk has revealed that he cut Kanye West from his upcoming album Almost Healed, despite the Chicago rap legend’s “genius” contributions.
During an interview with Akademiks’Off the Record podcast, Smurk shared that Kanye lent vocals and production to multiple songs for his forthcoming project, but he ultimately decided against using them.
“He actually did my whole album,” Durk said of Ye. “But I ain’t use it … He, like, tweaked with the beat, he put some vocals behind some beats. He played with a couple records. I’ma say that, he played with a couple records … He did some genius shit.”
He added: “I had went to the hotel where he was at. He was actually in a good head space. I guess all the bullshit that was going on with him was getting to him, but he definitely in a good space.”
Durk and Kanye’s unreleased collaborations might not remain on the cutting room floor forever, though, as the OTF rapper hinted at saving them for a potential deluxe edition of Almost Healed.
“I’m trying to see if I can come back with some genius shit with it, man, and double my sales,” he teased.
Elsewhere in the interview, Lil Durk delved deeper into his relationship with Kanye West, explaining they had a slight disagreement back in 2021 during the making of Donda.
Durk recalled Kanye inviting him to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta to record vocals for the album (Durk featured on “Jonah”), but he was taken aback when he saw Rooga — a rival Chicago rapper who appeared on “Ok Ok” — there as well.
“When I look up and I see what’s going on, I’m like, ‘What the fuck? I don’t think he knows how serious this shit is,'” he said. “You walking in there and that’s… you just fucked your whole album rollout up. [Ye’s] like, ‘I’m trying to get this shit together.’ And I’m just like, ‘I don’t want no parts of it.’ That’s why I wasn’t on [Donda 2].”
According to Smurk, the move was part of Kanye’s plan to “bring the peace back to Chicago,” but he had to inform the Yeezy mogul that such a lofty ambition is easier said than done as rappers don’t have the final “say-so” when it comes to street matters in the city.
“It wasn’t never like, ‘Fuck him for life,'” Durk continued. “I had a conversation with him afterwards and he was like, ‘I want to bring the peace back to Chicago. I want to do this, do this, do that.’ And I had to tell him, ‘It ain’t easy like you think.’ When shit happen behind certain shit, it’s not that easy. So I still talk to him.”
Despite turning down the opportunity to appear on Donda 2, Lil Durk still ended up working with Kanye West last year on Cardi B’s“Hot Shit” single, which featured the Windy City duo.
Durk also brought out Ye as a surprise guest at Rolling Loud Miami last summer, where he performed “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1.” Ironically, the G.O.O.D. Music founder was due to headline the festival until he dropped out of the last minute and was replaced by friend-turned-foe Kid Cudi.
Although Almost Healed won’t feature Kanye’s Midas touch (the standard edition, at least), the album has no shortage of star power as it boasts appearances from J. Cole, Future, 21 Savage, Kodak Black and the late Juice WRLD, among others.
Behind the boards, Durk has enlisted heavy hitters like Metro Boomin, Southside, Wheezy, Zaytoven, ATL Jacob and even Alicia Keys. The project drops Friday (May 26).