Chicago Drill rapper King Von had a loyal and robust social media following of 2.5 million Instagram followers and 292,500 Twitter followers, while on the verge of breakout success.
King Von was in Atlanta for his album release party for “Welcome to O’Block,” his debut studio album at the time of his death Friday, according to his Instagram page. The album, which was released last month over the Halloween weekend, features appearances from fellow Chicago drill luminaries Polo G and Lil Durk, among others.
King Von, whose real name is Dayvon Bennett, grew up in Parkway Gardens, a South Side housing project, along with Chief Keef and Lil Durk. He was a member of Lil Durk’s “Only The Family” record label and EMPIRE where he released the “Grandson, Vol. 1” and “Levon James” (March 2020), which peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard album chart.
Von’s most-known track, 2018’s “Crazy Story,” has 11 million YouTube views to date.
“We sat on FaceTime for hours making songs together. Every bar had a meaning and every song was a part of our soul,” wrote Chopsquad DJ, a frequent collaborator with Von, in an Instagram post Friday. “Every moment meant something and to grow wit [sic] you made me feel like I was a real producer.”
King Von struck up an unlikely friendship with White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, when the 2020 Silver Slugger Award-winner went to “O Block” — the 6400 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive — to present him with his jersey. Anderson documented the event with a tweet saying, “Positive Vibes All Over #InTheCommunity4real.”
A friendship Chicago author and cultural critic Robert “Scoop” Jackson calls courageous.
“[King Von] was one of the guys that always stuck out to me because he had [poignant lyrics], ” said Jackson, author of “The Game is Not a Game: The Power, Protest and Politics of American Sports.” “It’s hard to extend yourself out there when you’re dealing with another form of creativity that is questioned by a larger part of society. If I align myself with these cats [King Von], I’m going to have to answer to Major League Baseball, the White Sox organization, and I’m gonna have to answer to my attorney. It takes courage to do what Tim Anderson did.”