Von was a fierce rapper and gangster renowned for his integral part in Chicago’s drill lineage, his humorous stories becoming beloved staples among hip-hop fans worldwide.
Von was a close childhood friend of Lil Durk, and signed onto his OTF label upon release from prison. Additionally, he made contributions back to Parkway Gardens on South Side Chicago.
1. Crazy Story
King von autopsy, one of Chicago’s slain rappers, was on his way to becoming one of its next notable drill rappers. An experienced storyteller with a unique talent for making violent street disputes and robberies that plagued O’Block (the 6400 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive), accessible even for non-locals.
Welcome to O’Block was Von’s debut full-length album that came out one week before his death, which showcases his talents perfectly. On it he recounts tales from life on the streets and makes listeners feel as if they are alongside him; one highlight being “Wayne’s Story”, an emotive account about an young hustler doomed for tragedy – you can listen below for yourself.
2. Welcome To O’Block
Dayvon Daquan Bennett, widely known by his stage name King Von, hails from Chicago’s O Block neighborhood on the South Side. He began rapping in 2018 and by 2019 had signed to Lil Durk’s Only the Family label; both Grandson Vol 1 and Levon James showcase his signature brag rap style and narrative storytelling ability.
Trap Lore Ross, in her documentary King Von: Rap’s First Serial Killer, makes an argument that Von is more than just an aggressive street hustler. Over four hours long she links Von to upwards of 10 murders; suggesting he could indeed have been an intentional serial killer from Chicago. Some critics have applauded this documentary while others have condemned its portrayal of Von.
3. Levon James
King Von used his time after successfully beating a murder charge that could have put him away for life to hone his street-rap storytelling abilities. He linked up with mentor Lil Durk from Only the Family label honcho Lil Durk for studio sessions and press runs so as to learn everything possible about street rap storytelling.
Chicago MC Ivan Espinosa quickly established himself as an influential force in the drill scene, paying homage to first-generation artists such as G Herbo and Chief Keef while forging his own distinctive stylistic aesthetics. He quickly gained attention after the viral 2018 single “Crazy Story”, his debut set Grandson Vol 1 landing him a contract with EMPIRE Records, as well as 2020 release Welcome To O Block before tragically passing away November 6, 2021 during a shootout in Atlanta.
4. War With Us
King Von was an extremely gifted rapper with immense star power. His charismatic presence and distinctive sense of realism made him stand out among other performers.
He had a violent past which got him in trouble with the law on several occasions and engaged in street beefs with many rap artists like Lil Durk and NBA YoungBoy.
Trap Lore Ross released the documentary King Von: Rap’s First Serial Killer that linked “Crazy Story” artist Von to multiple murders, prompting outrage from both fans and family members of Von. Unfortunately, YouTube quickly removed it after receiving complaints from viewers who disliked its contents.
On Friday (March 4), Von’s posthumous album What It Means to Be King will release its latest single: War. Featuring 21 Savage as featured artist, Chopsquad DJ produced it.
5. Why He Told
King Von’s Gold-certified breakout hit “Crazy Story” epitomized what hip-hop fans beyond Chicago city limits would come to appreciate about him: an intricate narrative told with honesty that allowed talented rappers like Von to overcome creative hurdles (Von wrote much of his early rhymes a capella without drums to help create his distinctive flow).
Von excelled in storytelling on projects such as Grandson Vol. 1, Levon James and Welcome To O’Block, where his storytelling talents were displayed against cinematic backdrops. On songs like “Why He Told,” Von expressed his pain over someone close to him who became an informant – adding layers and depth to narratives with intricate storytelling skills.
Trap Lore Ross recently released a documentary called King Von: Rap’s First Serial Killer which alleges 10 murders committed by Von before his death in 2020. However, to focus solely on these alleged acts is to ignore his other positive impacts on those around him.