King Von was a rising star in the rap scene who tragically lost his life in a shooting in Atlanta in November 2020. The Chicago native was known for his storytelling skills and his affiliation with Lil Durk’s label, Only the Family. He was also a member of the Black Disciples, a notorious street gang that has a long history in the city.
One of the rumors that circulated about King Von was that he was related to David Barksdale, the founder of the Black Disciples. Barksdale, also known as King David, was a legendary gang leader and activist who died in 1974 from kidney failure caused by a gunshot wound. He was also the co-founder of the Black Gangster Disciple Nation, a coalition of gangs that included the Supreme Gangsters led by Larry Hoover.
The Grandson of King David?
King Von never confirmed or denied the rumor that he was Barksdale’s grandson, but he did acknowledge the resemblance and influence that Barksdale had on him. In an interview with DJ Vlad, he said:
“I reminded people of King David. […] They say I act like him, I talk like him. They say I got his demeanor. They say I’m just like him.”
He also paid tribute to Barksdale in his song “Exposing Me”, where he rapped:
“Rest in peace to Silk from Ada Park, that was the older me.”
Silk was Barksdale’s nickname in the streets, and Ada Park was one of the territories that he controlled. King Von also posted a photo of Barksdale on his Instagram account, calling him “the definition of #Real” and “Chicago haven’t been the same since you left”.
However, there is no evidence that King Von and David Barksdale were biologically related. King Von’s parents were Taesha and Walter E. Bennett, who were both from Chicago. Walter, who went by the name Silk as well, was also a gangster who died when King Von was 11 years old. He was reportedly shot by a sniper from a rival gang.
King Von’s uncle claimed that Walter was not Barksdale’s son, but rather his protégé and right-hand man. He said that Walter looked up to Barksdale and learned from him how to be a leader and a loyal friend. He also said that King Von inherited his father’s charisma and street smarts.
The Legacy of King David
David Barksdale was born in Sallis, Mississippi in 1947 and moved to Chicago with his family in 1957. He became involved in gangs at an early age and by 1966, he had formed the Black Disciple Nation, which absorbed several smaller gangs. He was known for his charisma, intelligence, and ruthlessness.
Barksdale also had a vision of uniting the black community against oppression and poverty. He participated in the Chicago Freedom Movement led by Martin Luther King Jr., organized free breakfast programs for children, and supported the Black Panther Party. He befriended Fred Hampton, the leader of the Chicago chapter of the Panthers, who was assassinated by the police in 1969.
In 1973, Barksdale merged his gang with Larry Hoover’s Supreme Gangsters to form the Black Gangster Disciple Nation. The alliance aimed to create a political and economic force in Chicago and beyond. However, it also faced resistance from other gangs, such as the Black Stone Rangers, who attempted to kill Barksdale several times.
Barksdale died on September 2, 1974 at the age of 27 from kidney failure caused by a gunshot wound he received four years earlier. He was buried at Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. His death left a power vacuum in the gang world and sparked conflicts among his successors.
The Rise and Fall of King Von
King Von was born on August 9, 1994 in Chicago. He grew up in Parkway Gardens, also known as O Block, a notorious housing project that was home to many Black Disciples members. He started rapping at an early age but also got involved in criminal activities that landed him in jail several times.
He met Lil Durk while serving time for a murder charge that was later dropped due to lack of evidence. Lil Durk signed him to his label and helped him launch his rap career. King Von released his debut single “Crazy Story” in 2018, which became a viral hit and established him as one of the most promising newcomers in the scene.
He followed up with two more versions of “Crazy Story”, featuring Lil Durk and YNW Melly, and his debut mixtape “Grandson, Vol. 1” in 2019. The project debuted at number 75 on the Billboard 200 and number 27 on the Hip Hop albums chart. He also collaborated with artists such as Polo G, G Herbo, and NLE Choppa.
In 2020, he released his second mixtape “Levon James”, which peaked at number 36 on the Billboard 200 and number 6 on the Hip Hop albums chart. He also released his first studio album “Welcome to O Block”, which featured the hit singles “All These Niggas”, “How It Go”, and “I Am What I Am”. The album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Hip Hop albums chart.
However, King Von’s life was cut short on November 6, 2020, when he was shot and killed during a confrontation with another rapper, Quando Rondo, and his entourage outside a nightclub in Atlanta. He was pronounced dead at a hospital at the age of 26. He left behind two children and a legacy of music that inspired many fans and artists.
King Von was one of the most talented and influential rappers of his generation, who rose from the streets of Chicago to the top of the charts. He was also a member of the Black Disciples, a gang that was founded by David Barksdale, a legendary figure in Chicago’s history.
While there is no proof that King Von and David Barksdale were related by blood, they shared a lot of similarities in their personalities, lifestyles, and impact. They were both charismatic leaders, skilled storytellers, and respected activists who tried to uplift their communities. They were also both victims of violence that ended their lives too soon.