Lovingly Compiling Music From the Chicago Star’s Career, WIMTBK is a Worthy Follow-Up to Welcome To O’Block and Further Establishes the Late Legend as One of the Best Storytellers of His Generation
Telling crazy stories with a breathless intensity and a vivid attention to detail, King Von made a major impact in the rap game and in his native O’Block during his too-brief time in the spotlight. Adding a new chapter to the late artist’s career, King Von’s estate partners with Only The Family and EMPIRE to release What It Means To Be King, a testament to Von’s continuing legacy.
A labor of love that compiles unheard music from the artist’s oeuvre, “What It Means To Be King” is packed with the ferocious bars and gripping narratives that earned him a huge fanbase, but also hints at some of the directions he might have taken if he had more time.
The album features contributions from many of the people who knew Von best, including regular producer and collaborator Chopsquad DJ, his “twin” Lil Durk, and fellow O’Block natives like Boss Top and DqFrmDaO, along with street rap heroes like like 21 Savage, Moneybagg Yo, G Herbo, and more, making plain the level of respect Von commanded in the rap game at large.
What It Means To Be King opens with “Where I’m From,” a harrowing and emotional origin story for Von, illustrating his mindset as he languished in jail, helpless to prevent the deaths of his friends like O and J.R. To Von, to be a leader, or a king, meant to shoulder the weight of his neighborhood on his shoulders–when his O’Block heroes died, Von knew that it was up to him to stand up for his home neighborhood wherever he went. Following in the wake of the formidable intro, the album paints a full picture of Von’s formidable artistry, with songs that range from the fiery recent single “War,” the vicious Brooklyn-style drill of “Straight To It” featuring Fivio Foreign, and the melodic and romantic “My Fault” featuring A Boogie wit da Hoodie.
Also of note is “Evil Twins,” a sure-to-be fan favorite that reunites the tag team of King Von and Lil Durk, and “Grandson For President,” a beloved freestyle that first surfaced on YouTube in Summer 2020. The album ends with “Family Dedication Outro,” a beautifully simple track that demonstrated how much Von loved his family, and how much he was loved in return.
What It Means To Be King puts an exclamation point on Von’s legacy, confirming his status as the best storyteller of his generation. A worthy follow-up to Von’s GOLD-certified debut Welcome To O-Block, the upcoming album is a bittersweet treat for fans, and a moment of closure for those who loved him most.