The OTF frontman sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Akademiks, where he spoke at length about his long-standing issues with YoungBoy and their recent exchanges.
Durk explained that the bad blood stems from the murder of his close friend and collaborator King Von, who was shot and killed by an affiliate of Quando Rondo — a Never Broke Again artist — in November 2020 during an altercation between their respective crews.
He then expressed bemusement at YoungBoy “taking responsibility” for Von’s death in various songs while questioning his street credibility.
“Scared of who? For what? What he do?! ” he said when Akademiks suggested that YoungBoy believes he’s “scared” of him. “I’m speaking for the whole of Chicago: you ain’t there? Shut the fuck up. You made a diss and said something about Von, that’s why I don’t fuck with you. You ain’t did shit! You did zero, in reality.”
He added: “It ain’t have nothing to do with Asian [Doll], none of that shit. Von put the Floyd Mayweather on the muthafucka, and what happened happened. That’s a different situation. His situation, what did he do? What did YoungBoy do for everybody to want me and him to kill each other? … What did he do to Von? Okay, cool. So why are you taking full responsibility like you did something to Von? [For] sales?”
Smurk then threw shade at Von’s alleged killer, Timothy “Lul Tim” Leeks, and Quando Rondo, claiming there’s evidence of him and Von sonning the latter.
“That shit fucked everybody up,” he said of Von’s death. “When a real gangsta get took out by like a … a nerd type muthafucka … Quando’s a little boy. I used to have him like this [mimicks putting him in a headlock and giving him a nuggie]. Saying, ‘Fuck 63rd,’ me and Von. Google it. No, I ain’t have him in a headlock. But I’m saying, like, he was saying, ‘Fuck 63rd.'”
Akademiks later brought up NBA YoungBoy’s recent Twitter tirade against Lil Durk and asked him if any of his apparent subliminal responses were actually aimed at the Top rapper.
“That one, that ‘yelling down the phone down’ thing, that’s it,” he clarified. “Everything else, I promise you … I don’t think about that man. Zero. I was shocked when I woke up to that shit. I’m like, ‘What the fuck? It gotta be a fake page.'”
Further dismissing the notion that YoungBoy is his competition, the Chicago native denied using their beef to promote his upcoming album Almost Healed.
“Why would I use you for promo when I know I’m gonna outsell you?” he asked. “A muthafucka sit up here and be like,’ You gon’ outsell him but he have a bigger generational [influence].’ So who’s using who for promo? … I’ll put this on all my kids: when we were doing the ‘AHHH HA,’ all that shit, that was cool. Right now, I don’t need that lil’ boy.”
Durk also refuted claims that NBA YoungBoy was the reason he delayed the release of Almost Healed. The album was due to arrive on May 12, the same day as YoungBoy’s Richest Opp, until it was pushed back to May 26 at the last minute.
“The last artist to sign off got my album pushed back,” he explained, although he didn’t reveal who that was. (Future, J. Cole, 21 Savage, Kodak Black and the late Juice WRLD are among the A-list guests on the project.)
As for DaBaby, Lil Durk revealed he confronted the North Carolina rapper backstage during Future’s One Big Party Tour — which embarked on a brief run across the U.S. in January — over a DM dispute from last year.
DaBaby exchanged words with OTF member Memo600 in March 2022 over the release of his joint project with NBA YoungBoy, Better Than You. “CAN’T BLAME DABABY HE THOUGHT THAT MAN WAS GNE SAVE HIS CAREER,” Memo tweeted, poking fun at the mixtape’s tepid first-week sales, which reportedly totaled just 28,500 album-equivalent units.
In response, the “Suge” hitmaker implied Durk was in his DMs “waving the white flag” and declared: “it ain’t a gang, city, N-GGA, or neighborhood in da WORLD scary enough to make BABY Pick & Choose who to get money wit n-gga.”
“I DM’d DaBaby and told him, I’m like, ‘Hey fam, whatever you got going on when y’all doing a tape, that’s y’all.’ You feel me?” Durk told Akademiks. “That’s when the other bullshit came out, ‘Waving the white flag in my DM.’
“We was on the Future tour. They like, ‘DaBaby here.’ Ask him yourself, call him. I pulled him in a room — not on no ‘come here!’ I was like, ‘Check it out.’ He’s like, ‘What?’ ‘That’s small shit, little shit. Let’s get to the money. You see what they tryna do to you? We don’t have no beef. Why? I don’t give a fuck ’cause you did an album with that man. That shit sold how much?'”
“So you don’t fuck with DaBaby no more?” Ak asked, to which Smurk replied: “See, DaBaby situation was a little different ’cause we chopped it up before it went down. So when we chopped it up in the DM, we already handled it … We don’t have a problem with nobody, man. We don’t want smoke with nobody. I don’t want problems with nobody.”
The Voice went on to send a message to the rest of the rap game, saying that any other artists who choose to work with his foes will lose his respect.
“If you fuck with anybody that harmed my people, I can’t fuck with you,” he declared. “I’m not into it with you, like if I see you, I ain’t saying I’m finna kill you. I just ain’t gonna fuck with you. It’s not [just] music. It’s Von. ‘Cause that’s what the whole situation about. It’s not like no street fight where it be like, ‘Man, y’all squash that shit.'”