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Lil Durk has been affected by his native Chicago, and the violence that has plagued his city. He's lost friends, and was even caught carrying guns himself. But, after Durk plead guilty gun possession charges in 2014, he vowed to stay out of trouble.
Since then, the rising rap star has been making good on his promise and on Tuesday, June 2, he drops his major label debut album Remember My Name. While release days are typically filled with interviews, performances and bunch of promo commitments, Durk will also spend a portion of the day taking part in Gun Violence Awareness Day.
"We gonna rock the orange. Everybody who I'm with is gonna rock the orange," Durk told MTV News on Monday, about his plans to wear orange to bring attention to the multitude of problems that firearms cause in the community and amongst young people.
The socially conscious fashion trend started on Chicago's infamous South Side, after a group of high school students asked their classmates to wear orange in honor of a friend who was shot and killed. The color orange is meant to symbolize the value of human life and you can learn more about it if you visit WearOrange.org
Durk is encouraging all of his fans to wear orange as well. He promises to retweet and regram as many of his orange-clad fans as he can if they tag him in their own Gun Violence Awareness posts on social media.
"That's gonna have a lot of people really going to get the shirts and we're going to explain what it means in the caption," he said. "It's gonna be decent, especially with the album dropping so there's gonna be a lot of attention to it too."
Durk admits that he's made mistakes in the past, but after his run-in with the law he decided to make serious changes in his life.
There are some real dark moments on Remember My Name, but there are plenty of instances where Durk warns of the dangers of gun violence too. On "Don't Judge Me" he raps about the ills that he's faced. "I lost so many n---as... I don't feel sh-t," he rhymes with numbed emotion.
One of the Durk's most-positive influences was his manager Chino Dolla, who was murdered in March hours after he met with Chicago Bulls basketball star Joakim Noah about throwing their own anti-violence event.
Though Chino is gone, Durk is looking to carry on with the message.
"You just gotta put a lot of pride to the side and sacrifice," he said, after we asked him how he was able to turn his situation around. "You gotta move the crowd around, [those] who ain't good for you. That energy, they don't need to be on you.
"You just need to be smart about politicking," Durk advised.
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