The embattled country star is clearly using the rapper to escape accountability.
The Morgan Wallen redemption tour has its first hip-hop endorser. During a recent chat, Lil Durk decided it was time for hip-hop to help the world forgive Wallen for drunkenly yelling racial slurs last February, and it’s not clear if Durk knows Wallen is just using him.
Durk publicly gave the controversial country singer his stamp of approval in a recent chat with TMZ in Los Angeles after having a private conversation with Wallen. Durk went as far as to leverage his own goodwill with the public to get him out of hot water, proclaiming Wallen can’t be canceled because “when I say you ain’t canceled, you ain’t canceled.” Durk didn’t say if the behind-closed-door conversation that convinced him Wallen wasn’t a racist came prior to the pair releasing their “Broadway Girls” collaboration, but Durk benefiting from any positive light Wallen can get under definitely informed his backing of the embattled singer.
Durk’s endorsement and collaboration are simply the latest stop in Wallen’s months-long redemption tour, and he’s been trading in Black culture recently to get back in the public’s good graces. On December 29, 2021, Wallen was a guest in a Clubhouse room named “Country Music w/ Morgan Wallen,” hosted by comedian Druski, who recently performed stand-up comedy on J. Cole’s The Off-Season Tour. For the duration of the one-hour conversation, Wallen was never asked about his offensive use of a racial slur. Instead, Druski and a few of his co-hosts lightly played around with racist stereotypes. At one point in the conversation after Wallen tells them his most expensive purchase was a truck, Druski and his co-host Ben Da Donn go on a tangent of mimicking country accents. When Wallen asks the question back to Druski, he jokes his most expensive purchase was a chain, a common generalization of Black people who come into a substantial amount of money.
Wallen’s racial pandering became apparent during the chat when he remarked he primarily listens to hip-hop music, according to Variety’s recap of the conversation. Even though he says Moneybagg Yo is currently his favorite rapper, it’s nearly impossible to see Wallen enjoying a brisk Sunday morning in Nashville with “Wockesha” blaring in the background when he’s never collaborated with a rapper before his song with Durk from December 2021. His last album Dangerous: The Double Album (Bonus) had 33 tracks and was longer than a 90-minute movie, yet there wasn’t one Black artist featured prominently on the album. If Wallen liked hip-hop music, he sure treated it like a secret he didn’t want the world to ever know.
While joking around with Druski, Wallen also expressed interest in collaborating with Kendrick Lamar, a move Durk gave his full support. But Lamar, Durk, nor any other hip-hop artist should allow white people to wash away their sins in our cultural drip as so many have done in the past. Sure, aligning himself with Wallen on “Broadway Girls” scored Durk only his second #1 placement on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop charts. But, should it be worth it to Durk, someone who identified so much with the struggles of Black people he got “Black Lives Matter” tattooed on his skin? It shouldn’t, because Wallen admitted in his sit-down interview on ABC Nightline to being a 28-year-old adult living in America who didn’t know if saying the N-word was right or wrong. Wallen saw the same atrocities Durk saw, and the country star not only used the N-word as an insult of the same vileness as “motherfucker,” he implied in his Nightline interview he’s used the word among friends in the past.
When Wallen saw large gatherings of people celebrating Joe Biden’s presidential victory over Donald Trump in November 2020, he saw an opportunity to benefit himself by using the gathering as evidence for why concerts needed to return during the pandemic. When Wallen sees Lil Durk and hip-hop, he sees nothing but an opportunity to escape accountability with popularity, and Durk, of all people, should know better.