Lil Durk’s new music video for “What Happened to Virgil” with Gunna, which was directed by Cole Bennett, comes right after his first solo No. 1 album, 7220.
The video was made by Bennett’s Lyrical Lemonade studio as a tribute to the late great designer and artistic architect Virgil Abloh, who died suddenly last November after a private two-and-a-half-year fight with a rare, aggressive form of cancer. He had just turned 41.
The death of Abloh sent shockwaves through the fashion, art, and music worlds. As the founder of Off-White and the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, he was one of the most well-known and loved designers of our time. Many paid tribute by telling stories from their own lives.
Lil Durk does the same thing on the best song on his most recent album. “Life is so short that you can’t waste even a day subscribing to what someone else thinks you can do instead of knowing what you can do,” Abloh says at the beginning of the video.
Gunna honored Abloh in a very Gunna way through his drip. In the video, he is wearing the “There’s only one” Louis Vuitton Fall Winter 2019 Show invitation Michael Jackson glove, which is very rare.
The rare, original white Louis Vuitton mono glove with Swarovski crystals that Abloh made is a tribute to Michael Jackson. The Swarovski crystals are one of the most famous symbols of the King of Pop.
The music video for “What Happened to Virgil” ends with messages to Durk’s late brother DThang and his frequent collaborator King Von.
The video was shot in Chicago, where both Durk and Virgil live, and features the rapper and Gunna, who is from Atlanta, wearing clothes from Louis Vuitton, where Abloh was men’s artistic director for more than three years. The scenes re-create Abloh’s crazy fashion shows and cultural artifacts that he gave to the world, both with LV and with Off-White, his groundbreaking luxury brand.
The whole production design for the video was based on Abloh’s work. This includes the Louis DreamhouseTM, which was one of his last projects for Louis Vuitton, flowers in the Off-White store, and Drake’s private jet, “Air Drake,” which was designed by Abloh.
Off-White’s Miami Flagship Store
In the first scene, Lil Durk walks through a garden of flowers, which represents one of Abloh’s most important moments in his career: the opening of the Off-White flagship store in Miami.
Back in 2020, Virgil Abloh and AMO director Samir Bantal designed the Off-White flagship store for the Miami Design District to be a fulfillment center and multipurpose event space.
After Virgil died, Off-White stores around the world got rid of their products and put flowers in their place to honor the founder’s life.
Abloh started Off-White in 2012 as a high-end streetwear brand. He had worked with Bantal before on “Figures of Speech,” a Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago show that looked back on his career (MCA).
The handmade ready-to-wear brand belongs in the same sentence as Louis Vuitton, so it’s important that Durk took a picture of the two fashion houses together. Abloh once said that he wanted Off-White to be more “adult.”
Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2022 Paris Fashion Show
The next scene after the garden of flowers is the title card, which pays homage to Virgil’s love of quotes and Helvetica fonts in text over the recreated stage of Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2022 Paris presentation.
At Paris Men’s Fashion Week in late January, Louis Vuitton held a memorial show for its Fall/Winter 2022 collection. Louis Vuitton said that the 20-minute show brought together “the themes and messages of the eight-season arc that Virgil Abloh created” for the LVMH powerhouse.
As a grand gesture for one of Abloh’s last projects before his untimely death, the show was held at the Carreau de Temple. Tyler, The Creator, J Balvin, and Naomi Campbell, among other famous people, all walked the runway at the same time.
“Through the lens, there is no dividing line between reality and imagination. The notes for the collection said, “Dreams can come true.” “Because a child’s mind hasn’t been programmed with the grown-up, man-made ideas of society, like ‘high or low,’ ‘black or white,’ or masculine or feminine,’ it has no limits and no bias.”
In a similar way, the music video says, “Within the beautiful architecture of the Louis DreamhouseTM, Abloh’s philosophy is based on boyhood ideology: seeing the world through the eyes of a child who hasn’t been hurt by it.”
The show was a moment that really showed how Abloh’s creative, childlike mind sees the world of fashion. He was always looking for new things and leaving a manifesto for how to get into an industry that never really wanted people like him. Yoann Bourgeois directed and choreographed a theatrical piece that made the show a mind-expanding interior of ideas, prospects, and encouragement.
“Air Drake” Private Jet
Durk and Gunna can be seen on the runway a lot in the video. They are standing in front of Drake’s private jet, “Air Drake,” which was designed by Abloh and built by Abloh Engineering in 2020.
Abloh painted it all blue with a pattern of clouds that looks a lot like both the cover of Drake’s 2013 album Nothing Was the Same and the main aesthetic theme of Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter ’20 show.
It has been written about how much Abloh loves rap and how often he shows it. Even though the Recording Academy disrespectfully called him a “hip-hop designer” during the “in memoriam” section of the 64th Grammys earlier this month, he is not just that.
Abloh was more of a world-builder and architect who used clothes to challenge the status quo, play with the populist possibilities of streetwear, and pull at the heartstrings of haute couture. His products both felt like goals and were easy to get.
“Air Drake” was just another example of this, as well as Abloh’s lasting influence on Drake. It’s also another reason why people who knew and liked Abloh, like Durk and Gunna, will continue to honor and respect him as one of this generation’s greatest artistic gifts long after “What Happened to Virgil” is no longer on heavy rotation.
Lil Durk’s new video for “What Happened to Virgil” with Gunna is a tribute to the late designer Virgil Abloh. The video was shot in Chicago and features the rapper and Gunna, who is from Atlanta, wearing clothes from Louis Vuitton.
Virgil Abloh started Off-White in 2012 as a high-end streetwear brand. Louis Vuitton held a memorial show for its Fall/Winter 2022 collection. Tyler, The Creator, J Balvin, and Naomi Campbell walked the runway at the same time.
Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter ’20 show was inspired by Drake. Virgil Abloh painted the private jet “Air Drake” blue with a pattern of clouds that looks a lot like the cover of Drake’s 2013 album Nothing Was the Same and the main aesthetic theme of the show.