The hip-hop world mourned upon the news of Chicago legend King Von’s passing in late 2020. As a beaming voice for the city’s streets, his posthumous album, What It Means To Be King, has finally arrived, presenting fans with the first full-length release since his untimely demise death.
Fans can agree that music lost an extremely promising artist way too soon. At the young age of 26, Von was unfortunately killed on Nov. 6, 2020 — just one week after the release of his debut studio album, Welcome to O’Block. His estate has the freedom to assure Von’s music is released in the right manner, as the late-rapper owned and had control of all of his masters prior to his passing. His family has been steadily releasing new music over the past year, giving OTF fans something to look forward to leading up to his debut posthumous release.
Initially, the album was led in by 21 Savage and Von’s visceral collaboration “Don’t Play That,” as their styles were brought together seamlessly for the lead single off Von’s tribute tape.
“Don’t Play That” marks the first time each artist has worked together, and the wait was well worth it. Hopping on JID’s “Surround Sound” in January, Savage continues to showcase why he’s one of the most sought after rappers in the game. Von and 21’s styles mirror each other effortlessly in this track with many hard-hitting bars about guns — among other things.
“I caught that girl playin’ with my Glock
She askin’ me what is Tooka?
Just know that we smoke him a lot““Don’t Play That” — King Von Ft. 21 Savage
His team released the second single off the project “War” on March 2 — a menacing track with top-tier storytelling. An eerie piano melody complements erratic 808s as Von spits anecdotes about his life in the streets with vivid imagery.
Running just over two minutes, this track is easy to listen to and is one to keep on repeat moving forward. Fans get to see a side of Von that wasn’t as prominent in his previous work. There is no serious storytelling like we’ve seen in tracks like “Took Her To The O” and “Crazy Story, Pt. 3.” Instead we get a repeated, smooth chorus from Von and a simple, yet effective verse from both Von and 21, who call out their opps.
“Oh, you ’bout it? (Uh-huh)
Rob you, ain’t shit you gon’ do ’bout it (Uh-huh)
My lil’ bitch want a new body (What?)
My bullets come get you fast like a Bugatti (Grrah, grrah)
I’m goin’ Scotty like too hotty (Yeah)
You gettin’ shot up if you too cocky (What?)
We slide with sticks like we play hockey
And you not a killer if you only got two bodies, damn (Boom, boom, boom, boom)“King Von — “War”
It’s obvious what a dangerous life Von lived as he raps vicious bars, taunting his enemies and flexing his status. The track gives fans a taste of the level of depth and narrative to expect from the rest of the release.
With features from Lil Durk, G Herbo, Fivio Foreign, Moneybagg Yo, Tee Grizzley and more, What It Means To Be King is here with 19 new tracks for fans of the fallen rapper. Rest In Peace King Von.
Check out ‘What It Means To Be King’ by King Von below!