Chicago-bred drill rapper King Von (born Dayvon Daquan Bennett) has died at age 26 after being shot at an Atlanta nightclub, the Atlanta Police Department confirms to Billboard.
The rapper was reportedly hospitalized in critical condition early Friday morning following a shootout at the Monaco Hookah Lounge in Atlanta, which resulted in the deaths of three men, according to the police report.
The shootings took place around 3:00 a.m. when an argument between two groups turned into a fight in the parking lot, Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Timothy Peek initially told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Police said in an additional statement that investigators believe “the rapper was shot during the initial shootout between the two groups of males, prior to police responding and attempting to stop the shooting.”
Bennett arrived at a hospital shortly after the shooting via private vehicle, the statement continued. The investigation remains open.
Update: Reps for Bennett have issued the following statement:
“King Von, a rising rapper known for his visceral storytelling, passed away in Atlanta on November 6th. Born and raised in Chicago’s O’Block neighborhood, Dayvon Bennett emerged from difficult circumstances to become one music’s most promising stars. The 26-year-old artist left us just as the world was beginning to grasp the depths of his talents. Last week, Von shared his debut album, Welcome To O’Block, offering a cinematic and vivid account of his origin story, providing an inside perspective on neighborhood life and the trauma wrought by the criminal justice system.
King Von was a luminary — a natural storyteller, an artist on the verge of superstardom who had so much more to give the world. He overcame myriad unjust circumstances yet remained steadfastly dedicated to giving back to the community that raised him, O’Block. He was a devoted father, a deeply loyal friend, and a man who took care of his people before himself. We are heartbroken for his family, his friends, his team, and his fans. Long live King Von.”
Bennett was known for his urgent, sing-song style on tracks such as his gritty breakout single “Crazy Story” and the 2019 autobiographical tale of his legal travails, “What It’s Like.” He subsequently released two more versions of “Crazy Story” in 2019.
Bennett grew up on the South side of Chicago and was childhood friends with fellow MCs Lil Durk and Chief Keef. The MC had a string of run-ins with the law beginning as a teenager in 2012, when he was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm. In 2014, the then-16-year-old faced a count of first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in a Chicago-area shooting that resulted in the death of one man and the wounding of two others. After beating the case when witnesses didn’t testify in the case, Von turned to hip-hop in 2017, singing with Lil Durk’s OTF (Only the Family) label.
He made his first splash on 2018’s Only the Family Involved Vol. 2 compilation, where his vivid storytelling on “War With Us,” “Crazy Story” and “Man Down” stood out amid tracks that featured such other soon-to-be stars as Tee Grizzley and YNW Melly. Von was in the spotlight again last summer when Lil Durk put him on the single “Like That” from his Love Songs 4 the Streets 2 album, and his next release came last September with “What It’s Like” from his Grandson, Vol. 1 album, which debuted at No. 75 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
After teaming up with Sada Baby on the single “Pressin’” earlier this year, Von dropped “Took Her to the O” in February and the album LeVon James in March while still on house arrest for two outstanding cases. The collection featured collaborations with Polo G, Tee Grizzley, NLE Choppa, Lil Durk and YNW Melly and earned him a spot on Billboard’s 2020 Hip-Hop/R&B Artists to Watch list. His most recent single was “I Am What I Am,” which dropped in October in advance of last week’s release of his Welcome to O’Block album.
Watch some of King Von’s videos below.