Lil Durk Parts Ways with Def Jam, Releases Surprise Mixtape ‘Just Cause Y’all Waited’

The 25-year-old artist is leaving the nest.

JUST CAUSE Y'ALL WAITED MIXTAPE
Lil Durk

Just Cause Y’all Waited is Lil Durk’s first independent release since signing to Def Jam five years ago. The 12-track mixtape boasts appearances from Ty Dolla $ign, Gunna, PARTYNEXTDOOR, as well as Quality Control signee Lil Baby on the project’s lead single “How I Know.”

Durk released the full-length project only a few hours after announcing his departure from the label. With this tape, he showcases prolific songwriting skills and a tenacious work ethic that will carry him through his independent career. “I’ve been with Def Jam Records for five years and they gave me my first recording contract so for that I’m forever grateful,” he told Billboard.

The rapper continues to cite his growth as an artist as his primary reason for leaving, while he also states that he “didn’t want to be a part of another regime change.” The “regime change” refers to the appointing of Paul Rosenberg — Eminem’s longtime manager — as the new CEO of Def Jam. However, fans are speculating that the label shelved Durk’s music considering his mixtape’s title, Just Cause Y’all Waited. Def Jam has also suffered criticism for mismanaging smaller artists, which only contributes to the fans’ speculation.

Listen to an independent Lil Durk on Just Cause Y’all Waited below.