Album Review: Welcome to O’Block

By Rhett Theobald, Correspondent

3/5 Stars

“Welcome to O’Block” is Rapper King Von’s first and only album due to his unfortunate passing on November 6th, a week after “Welcome to O’Block” dropped. “Welcome to O’Block” is a hard hitting energetic album about the realities of living in inner-city Chicago. While listening to this album, one can see that King Von, while being rough, had the potential to become a staple in the Drill niche of Hip Hop. 

King Von’s best quality is the energy and conviction that flows out of him while he raps. Even though most of his lyrics aren’t ground-breaking or original, when listening to him, you get the impression that he means everything he says. This is seen in the track’s “I am what I am” and “Armed and Dangerous.” This type of energy and conviction is rare and hard-hitting. King Von’s voice and flow really do take the listener to King Von’s world. 

Lyrically, King Von is mediocre. He often repeats himself and did not use much word play or clever lyricism in his work. However, drill is not the most lyrically focused type of Hip-Hop, and tends to focus more on hard hitting beats and grimmy nihilistic subject matter. As such, for fans of lyricism, King Von may not be the rapper for you. 

King Von’s production is not the best. The beats are sometimes repetitive and the autotune in some tracks such as “Mine too” is a bit problematic. That being said, the music does a decent job of backing up King Von’s flow and delivery allowing King Von to punch above his weight, especially for a relatively new rapper to genre. 

Overall, I would say that this is a solid starting album for King Von and showed an enormous amount of potential in the Drill rap genre. King Von’s flow and energy made him a welcome addition to the genre in general and made up for his mediocre lyricism and sometimes problematic production. As such, King Von had the potential to be a staple in the Drill subgenre, and will be missed.