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‘Rich Off Pain’ Is a Tragic Standout on Lil Baby and Lil Durk’s ‘The Voice of the Heroes’

The two hot rappers offer sharp commentary on mining their trauma for their music

Lil Baby, Lil Durk


After much anticipation, Atlanta rapper Lil Baby’s and Chicago’s Lil Durk’s collaboration The Voice of the Heroes hit streaming platforms today. Teased in March, the project is a power move from the two acts whose stars rose immeasurably in the past year. Among other successes, last June, Lil Baby found his place in the summer’s uprisings against anti-black racism and policing by releasing “The Bigger Picture,” an earnest protest anthem, to critical and popular acclaim. The song earned two Grammy nominations. In 2020, Lil Durk, a drill veteran of nearly fifteen years, also earned his first Grammy nods for his appearance on Drake’s hit “Laugh Now Cry Later.” Both rappers are especially adept at twisting menacing bars with emotional touches, and on “Rich Off Pain,” the sixteenth song on their 18-track album, they sharply measure the devastation their success is built upon. It’s a perfect culmination of the album’s themes of flexing muscle, surviving pain, and giving hope.