King Von – “What It Means To Be King” (Album)

Upon the release of King Von’s “What It Means to Be King”, nearly a year and a half after his passing, a charting single from Lil Durk entitled “AHHH HA” finds him confronting the frustration of having to forge on without his friend. “Don’t respond to shit with Von!” Durk shouts on the chorus, imploring himself to ignore the near constant mentions of Von’s name that fill the comments of his social media posts. As difficult as it’s been for King Von fans to move on, as “AHHH HA” reveals, it’s been that much harder for those who knew the MC best. What It Means to Be King, though, is where those who did and did not know Von personally may find some semblance of healing.

The album is packed with former peers and supporters like Lil Durk, 21 Savage, G Herbo, Moneybagg Yo, Fivio Foreign, Tee Grizzley, and Dreezy. Their voices complement Von’s across the board, helping him to lay out Chicago drill culture in the way he’d become renowned for. Von’s personal rap style, excited and ever aggressive, carves through production from frequent collaborator Chopsquad DJ, as well as Kid Hazel and ATL Jacob. The storytelling that gave him some of his first acclaim is fully intact here (“Where I’m From,” “Trust Nothing,” “Get It Done”), as is a romantic side (“My Fault”). But what his fans and even his friends are most likely to take from What It Means to Be King isn’t something they didn’t already know. When it comes to the legacy of dearly departed King Von, the music we got during the MC’s lifetime had only barely scratched the surface. – via Apple Music

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