King Von – “What It Means to Be King” review

King Von was a 26 year old rapper from Chicago, Illinois who came up as a Lil Durk protege. Now I wasn’t big on his mixtapes Grandson or LeVon James at first, but he really blew me away once his full-length debut Welcome to O’Block came out a little over a year ago on Devil’s Night. But as soon as he finally won me over, he was tragically murdered a week later in broad daylight. So it was only a matter of time before Only the Family Entertainment put out a posthumous album albeit Von’s 2nd overall.

Where I’m From” opens up the album with Chopsquad DJ mixing some pianos & snares as Von addresses Patoon’s death whereas “War” has a more dramatic tone sonically talking about his mob ties. G Herbo tags along for “FaceTime” to spit that gun talk on top of a rubbery bass-line & some murky choir vocals provided by Hitmaka leading into the 21 Savage-assisted “Don’t Play That”taking a more cloudier route talking about what they usually do with their day.

Meanwhile on “Straight to It”, we have Fivio Foreign assisting Von in cooking up a combative drill banger just before “Trust Nothing” with MoneyBagg Yo finds the 2 talking about bitches tripping about shit that has nothing to do with them over a thunderous trap beat with some piano chords. “Evil Twins” showcases some amazing back & forth chemistry with Lil Durk accompanied by an atmospheric backdrop, but then “Too Real” goes into a hazier direction talking about how legit he was.

“Rich Gangsta” with Tee Grizzley pretty much speaks for itself as far as the content goes even though it has one of the weaker instrumentals on the album until the synth-laced “Mad” picks things back up with Von angrily calling out those who envied him prior to his murder. “My Fault” incorporates some rich keyboard melodies as A Boogie wit da Hoodie assists Von in a decent romance ballad & the electronic undertones of “Change My Life” are a nice change of pace addressing a lover who thinks she was his wife.

Following that, “Hard to Trust” is an Asian Doll tribute that goes well down to TM88’s production until Dreezy’s verse comes in towards the backend of it while “Get Back” with Boss Top & DQFrmDaO fails at it’s attempt at a Chicago drill anthem. “Get It Done” with OMB Peezy kinda has a Detroit trap vibe to the instrumental with the pair delivering some mediocre gangsta raps while “Chase the Bag” comes through with a passionate hustler’s theme.

The track “Go N Get Em” sees Boss Top returning for a chilling look at how murderous they can be while the final song “Grandson for President” is pretty much a remix of the classic Crime Mob single “Knuck If You Buck”. The outro “Family Dedication” though ends the album with a moving spoken word bit paying tribute to all of Von’s loved ones.

For a posthumous album, I’m actually kinda torn on it. There’s nothing really wrong with King Von’s verses or a good portion of the production, but the feature-list is just so oddly picked out with their contributions ranging from focused at best to pointless & phoned in at worst.

Score: 2.5/5

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