Armed with a knack for melodic storytelling, paired with a rapid-fire delivery, King Von is quickly making a name for himself in the rap world.
26-year-old King Von’s rap career is on the incline. The Lil Durk affiliate began rapping in 2018 and has been steadily growing a fanbase since, with his early single, “Problems” establishing his talent to the world and his 2018 song, “Crazy Story,” captivating an even larger audience later on. The “Crazy Story” music video has garnered over fifty million views on YouTube, while Von puts that story-telling charm on display, detailing a robbery that turned violent.
With several trips to juvie for armed robbery and possession of a firearm, as well as a couple of stays in jail for involvement in shootings under his belt, King Von is really about the antics he raps about in his songs. Once King Von’s career began to kick off as a result of his vivid story-telling and distinctive drill beats, he moved to Atlanta to work alongside fellow Chicago rapper Lil Durk, signing to his record label, Only The Family (OTF), and EMPIRE. Although he may have relocated, King Von still holds it down for Chicago, frequently repping his city on social media and in his “Broke Opps” music video which released last March.
If you aren’t very familiar with the rising rapper, here’s a basic summary of what you should know.
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Much of King Von’s notoriety is due to his history of run-ins with the law, which began when he was young. King Von earned himself his first trip to juvie when he robbed someone at gunpoint, stealing their car. Given King Von’s young age at the time, the judge agreed to drop the charges on one stipulation: King Von had to attend a bootcamp where he would be confronted with his deviance and challenged to change his ways. Apparently, bootcamp did not leave a lasting impact, because Von landed himself a second trip to juvie when he was convicted of possession of a firearm not long after.
Von mentioned in passing during an interview that he had two successive stays in prison when he was younger, first for fourteen months, quickly followed by another fifteen-month stint, although he did not give details as to what landed him there on those separate occasions. King Von’s longest stay in jail, a three-and-a-half-year stretch while awaiting a trial, happened after he gunned down a man named Malcolm Stuckey at an Englewood party in 2014 when he was 19-years old. Von was charged with murdering Stuckey and wounding two others. Von’s friend Michael Wade was with him during the incident, and also reportedly shot off about 15 rounds. Wade was ultimately sentenced to 28 years in prison, while Von was fully acquitted of all charges and set free.
After his acquittal, Von launched his music career and began gaining traction, until his music came to an abrupt halt in February 2019 when he was arrested yet again for a shooting in Atlanta, this time along with fellow rapper Lil Durk. Video footage of the incident depicts Von and Durk firing shots at, and robbing someone, in a restaurant parking lot. The wounded, an alleged Vice Lord from a South Shore neighborhood in Chicago named Alexander Weatherspoon, ended up surviving, but Durk and Von were jailed without bond on charges including attempted murder, possession of a firearm, and gang association.
Durk and Von were both released from jail in late June on $250k and $300k bails, respectively. Von took to Instagram to share the news of his release in a now-deleted post, and has since been posting up as per usual. It is unclear as of right now whether charges will be/have been dropped.
Lil Durk Affiliation & OTF
After Von’s release from his three-and-a-half-year jail stay, his friend and mentor Lil Durk swiftly signed him to Only The Family, releasing his acclaimed single “Crazy Story” in 2018— the success of which prompted a remix of the song later on, featuring Durk himself. Durk’s early hunch about the emerging rapper’s potential proved correct when Von’s debut mixtape, Grandson, Vol. 1 was released in September 2019 and was ranked #37 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #75 on the Billboard 200. Von’s second mixtape, Levon James, a nod to NBA All-Star Lebron James, was released on March 6th, 2020. The album was met with an even better reception than his first, ranking #36 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #63 on the Billboard 200 and featured artists YNW Melly, NLE Choppa, and Booka 600 on songs “Rollin”, “Message”, and “Baguette’s”, respectively.
King Von may be a newcomer to the industry, but as we’ve established, he’s no stranger to conflict. Von was quick to express his disgust with 6ix9ine when the rapper went to O-block in Chicago to post a video of himself mockingly kneeling where Lil Durk’s cousin, Nuski, was killed. In a response video, Von expressed his solidarity with Durk and condemned 6ix9ine’s actions, including his past snitching, saying, "That shit with 6ix9ine, that shit ain't cool. They got this man running around and it's funny and shit. That shit ain't funny, gang. 'Cause it's like this -- I don't know the n***a, gang. I don't give no fuck about the n***a 6ix9ine. I don't know him. But he told on all type of people, gang and get people locked up and shit."
Just a few months prior, Von expressed his disappointment with Nicki Minaj, who he once held high in reverence, for having worked with 6ix9ine upon his release from jail for their “TROLLZ” collab, the music video for which was mostly hate-watched by the public but has still garnered over 276 million views nonetheless.
King Von and rapper FBG Duck, who passed away at the beginning of August, were known enemies. FBG Duck’s untimely passing in a drive-by shooting in Chicago, however, spurred Von to claim that the two had resolved their issues once and for all prior to the rapper's death. King Von earned himself the nickname of 'Grandson' for his purported similarities to the founder of the Black Disciples, while FBG Duck was a member of the Gangster Disciples. The two rappers exchanged shots at one another in the form of diss tracks. FBG Duck’s "I’m From the 63rd," released in March served as a response to Von’s February track, "Took Her to the O," where Von details a run-in with someone from, you guessed it, 63rd, who he clearly does not fuck with-- and ends up sending two bullets his way.
Following FBG Duck's death, Von took to Twitter to wonder how people “blame him for everything," and a month later announced that the two had ended things on good terms, hinting that he even had unreleased music made in collaboration between the two, which he was considering dropping earlier than planned.
King Von also had some brief dissension earlier this month with 27-year-old rapper Famous Dex, after Von called him a f***** in the Instagram comments section of a video of Dex getting emotional over the death of FBG Duck. Dex didn’t take kindly to the insult, going on Instagram Live to call Von out, saying, “King Von you a bitch. Suck my dick. You got 6ix9ine going to O Block. Ho-ass n***a. Go get on 6ix9ine ass before you say anything about me. Cause he all on ya'll block. Disrespecting y'all dead n***as." Soon after that, Von tweeted, “N***as better hope God got some room for they bitch ass,” presumably directed towards Dex and 6ix9ine.
Tensions cooled off relatively quickly, however, with Famous Dex once again taking to Instagram Live, this time to apologize for having gone off at King Von, saying, “I ain't go' say anybody's name cause I get people famous off doing that. You supposed to be from Chicago. We supposed to be together, like coming together. F*ck Chicago, we supposed to be coming together 'cause Black on Black—Black power, you know what I'm saying?... All the other stuff, I just wanna say I love me and I'm apologizing to my fans because my fans know that's not Dexter. F*ck anybody else, that's how I feel.”
The following day, Dex challenged Von to a friendly boxing match, which seemed to peak Von’s interest, as he tweeted out, “For everybody that don’t kno me I been beating ass my whole life. In and out of jail. And I hit hard as hell. I’m jus throwing this tweet out there. Carry on.”
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