Lil Durk initially got a cult following back in 2013, when he dropped his “Signed to the Streets” mixtape series. The Chicago native would eventually earn a record deal from Def Jam Records — before realizing that he needed to not only step out on his own, but diversify his business investments.
Recently, in an interview with AfroTech, OTF’s manager Ola Ali explained why it was important for its labels’ artists — including Lil Durk, himself — to diversify their investments, and specifically start investing in the gaming industry.
“I believe during the pandemic people paid attention to opportunities they might have overlooked before the shutdown. I know I did, and the gaming/streaming arena was one of them,” he tells AfroTech. “Pre-pandemic I don’t think I had the chance to play a video game in the last 15 years. I had no interest, and definitely didn’t have the time, but sitting at home every day brought about a new way for one to entertain themselves. This led to not only our team being involved in recreational gaming, but also researching into the streaming space and connecting the dots back to OTF as a brand.”
This move helped Lil Durk launch OTF Gaming in April 2021, but that’s only the latest in a series of investments made by the man born Durk Derrick Banks. His $3 million reported net worth came as a result of a series of smart business moves.
Let’s take a look at them.
Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.
Lil Durk first began taking music seriously back in 2011. Originally, he tried to sign to Chief Keef and French Montana’s respective labels, but each time, the deal fell through.
In an exclusive interview with XXL Magazine, he explained why he didn’t just take the first deal that was offered to him.
“With some labels, you’re a priority — and that’s different,” he said. “But some labels, you gotta maintain your own.”
His first spate of success came in 2013, when he signed to Def Jam Records. Through a joint partnership with his label Only The Family & Def Jam, Lil Durk produced a number of successful mixtapes, which gave the world a string of hit singles including “Dis Ain’t What You Want.”
In 2018, Lil Durk announced that he had “quarantined” his deal with Def Jam. In an exclusive interview with VladTV, he later revealed that they didn’t have a good relationship and that his independent output will be what he wants the fans to hear from him.
Only The Family
Only The Family — often shortened to OTF — is a collective that was formed by Lil Durk all the way back in 2010. This record label features a variety of rap artists, including the late OTF Nunu and the late King Von.
In an exclusive interview with VladTV, Lil Durk spoke extensively about how he opened up a trucking company when he moved from Chicago to Atlanta.
“A lot of rappers come here talking that big boy stuff — if rap would stop right now a lot of y’all would be broke,” Durk says of his peers. “Like what y’all gon do now? I got my own trucking company. We started off with [two trucks] and now we got like eight or nine big wheelers.”
In that same interview with VladTV, Lil Durk went into extensive detail about how he began investing in real estate.
“They make real videos to show you. And I done watched a couple of those videos like, ‘Damn. I need my own real estate company,'” he said.
He went on to explain that as of this writing, he had flipped two houses, and was looking into flipping more.