Unpacking the Symbolism in Lil Durk What Happened to Virgil

October 14, 2023

Unpacking the Symbolism in Lil Durk What Happened to Virgil

Rappers Lil Durk and Gunna have just dropped the music video for their new track "What Happened to Virgil." The Cole Bennett-directed visual pays tribute to fashion designer and Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh. The late designer passed away in November of 2021 after battling cancer for years. Several prominent members of the hip-hop community, including Drake, Tyler, The Creator, and Kanye West, have since paid their respects to Abloh.

Abloh's impact on culture and fashion was profound. His work toyed with streetwear's populist possibilities and tugged at the heartstrings of haute couture, resulting in a hybrid aesthetic that was both aspirational and accessible. In the video for "What Happened to Virgil," both Durk and Gunna are dressed in Louis Vuitton, the label for which Abloh served as men's creative director. The set for the video recreates a runway from Virgil Abloh's final Louis Vuitton presentation at Paris Fashion Week. The title card also homages Abloh's affinity for quotes and Helvetica fonts.

Abloh's death was a shock to many of the people who loved him, including his close friends Drake and Gunna. In the music video for "What Happened to virgil," they pay tribute to their friend with sets that are inspired by his designs, including his private jet dubbed "Air Drake." In addition to the multiple references to Virgil Abloh, the music video also features on-screen messages dedicated to Durk's late brother DThang and his late collaborator King Von.

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