Chicago Rapper Lil Durk (born Durk Derrick Banks), known for his Only The Family label and hits such as “3 Headed Goat (ft. Lil Baby & Polo G)” and a feature on Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later,” is a prolific producer with six studio albums and twelve mixtapes to his name. Durk’s latest 2020 release, The Voice, debuted at number forty-six on the US Billboard 200 and climbed its way up to number three clinching the rapper’s third top-ten release.
Not just a prolific producer, Lil Durk has also become a prolific father with a total of six kids born in the past ten years. While the rapper is proud of his many recording achievements, he’s most proud of his record as a father. When asked what fatherhood has been like for him, Durk stated, “I grew up without a father, so I have to be on point for my kids.”
Lil Durk’s Childhood
Rapper Lil Durk had a rough upbringing in the South Side, Englewood neighborhood of Chicago – home to other artists like Chief Keefe and Lil Reese. Lil Durk’s father was incarcerated when the artist was seven years old which left an absence that strongly influences his work. Durk’s father, “Big Durk,” was released on parole in 2019 and has since met Lil Durk’s kids. In the meantime, Lil Durk and his three sisters were raised single-handedly by their mother who was a nurse in Chicago.
Durk’s debut album “Remember My Name” is based on the artist’s childhood and features such songs as “Ghetto (Grew Up)” and “500 Homicides” which describe the hardships and violence he experienced as the impoverished child of a single parent in a poor environment.
Lil Durk dropped out of Paul Robeson High School in Chicago when he was seventeen and joined the street gang, THE BLACK DISCIPLES. From there, Durk founded his own record label “Only The Family” (OTF) originally as a part of French Montana’s “Coke Boys” label. Soon after, Durk’s OTF split from the Coke Boys and set out on their own.
Breakout and Success
Lil Durk got his big breakthrough social media as his videos on MySpace and YouTube began receiving notice from bigger labels. He was seventeen when he was signed by Def Jam records in LA. Since then, Durk has balanced his recordings and writing with growing his own label and developing up-and-coming talent.
Although Durk has faced several run-ins with the law including federal weapons charges and arrest warrants, he has served his time and risen above to become one of Chicago’s preeminent sounds.
Rapper Lil Durk has six kids–Angelo, Bella, Zayden, Du’mier, Skylar, and Willow–between five different mothers. His oldest son, Angelo, was born when Lil Durk was only seventeen. Three mothers–his first girlfriend in high school, the mother of his fifth child, and his current fiance–are publicly known, but Durk has kept mostly silent about the identities of the other two.
While the rapper rarely posts pictures of his family on Instagram, the ones he posts show a deep love for his family. And although six seems like a lot, Durk has stated that he wants up to ten kids one day!
Angelo and Bella
Lil Durk has two kids with his high school sweetheart Nicole Covone (Nikki) who he began dating back in 2008: Angelo (age 9, born in 2011) and Bella (age 7, born in 2013). Nikki and Durk broke up back in 2014 with Durk moving to LA and Nikki staying and running her own credit restoration and tax service back in Chicago.
Lil Durk’s nicknames for his oldest son Angelo include Lo Diddy and Lil Durkio. Although he posts about Angelo occasionally, it’s not clear how much contact Durk maintains with his kids and their mother as they live in a different part of the country. Based on social media posts from Durk and Nicole, the two maintain a cordial relationship as Nicole raises the kids.
Zayden and Du’mier
Lil Durk’s middle two boys, Zayden (age 7, born in 2013) and Du’mier (age 6, born in 2014), were born to two separate mothers whose identities are not currently public. While Durk has not fully revealed either boy’s mother, it seems that Zayden lives with his mom Sheena in Atlanta based on birthday parties and tweets he’s sent out over the years. Nothing more is currently known about Du’mier’s mother or where she is raising him.
Skylar and Willow
Lil Durk’s youngest two girls, Skylar (age 4, born in 2017) and Willow (age 2, born in 2018) were also born to separate mothers. While Willow’s mom, India Royale, is active on social media with several branded accounts, not much is known about Skylar’s mother, Tameka Kute, as she has kept a low social media profile.
India Royale currently runs the @theroyalegirls Instagram account showing the daily lives of Skylar and Willow. While the details of Tameka’s current relationship are unknown, Skylar and Willow are able to spend quite a bit of time together including going to the same daycare and preschool.
Lil Durk is currently married to India Royale. The couple wed back in 2018 after dating for a full year. Durk has produced 2 singles, India and India Part II, as love songs to his wife. Beyond being a mother to Sky and Willow, India Royale markets her own line of beauty products and cosmetics as @IndiaRoyaleBeauty on Instagram.
While he says he maintains a constant presence in his kids’ lives, Lil Durk’s relationship with their mothers has been tumultuous over the years. In an Instagram post from March 2016, Durk posted a picture stating, “I need all my kids in 1 house Calling lawyers,” followed by a caption stating, “This what make me a real daddy or a real man I’m not blaming they Moms cause they perfect and good ass moms to the kids but its time to grow as parents and artist and this gone have me grow mentally and be able to reach my peak knowing my kids all together in my mansion…”
Angelo and Bella’s mother responded to Durk’s outburst with a post of her own stating that while “Durk is a great father to Lolo and Bella,” he was simply posting to get attention and that his money can’t replace time and attention.
The rapper cites the six months he spent in jail on weapons charges as one of the most difficult times in his life due to the time he wasn’t able to be with his family. Given how much his father’s incarceration affected him, Lil Durk wants to make sure that he’s there for his kids as much as possible.
Lil Durk has said that one of his main goals in life is to give his children a better life than he experienced growing up. When asked if he’d raise his kids in Chicago the rapper responded, “I want to raise [my kids] somewhere else. Death can happen anywhere, but kids in Chicago, like four years old, can get shot. You don’t really hear that in too many places.” Understandably, Durk raises Sky and Willow in LA, but given the physical distance between him and the other kids, it’s not readily apparent how he’s followed through on this promise.