King Von

Prince Williams/Contributor via Getty Images

Man Claims He's Making Money From Showing Tourists King Von's Mural

  /  07.15.2023

Self-professed comedian Tae Marlon turned up the social media streets recently when he claimed to charge Windy City tourists $200 a pop to view a King Von mural. This mural, a fixture in Chicago’s notorious Parkway Gardens or “O Block,” has now become a popular attraction in the city’s underbelly.

Marlon shared a picture of himself with two tie-clad men, spawning an online guessing game about their identity. Many naysayers argued they looked more like Jehovah’s Witnesses than out-of-town visitors. “Don’t look like the King Von type to me,” chimed one user, a sentiment echoed by another who quipped, “Looks more like Mormons.” Yet, some social media denizens applauded Marlon, dubbing him smart for finessing onlookers.

Known for being home to some of Chicago’s most popular artists, O Block also enjoys a reputation as the birthplace of drill rap. The locale has propelled several artists to fame, including Chief Keef, Fredo Santana, Lil Durk, and the late King Von. Given the area’s infamous reputation, the demand for a guide or bodyguard isn’t far-fetched for those unfamiliar with the local dynamics.

King Von, whose given name was Dayvon Daquan Bennett, was fatally shot outside an Atlanta nightclub in 2020. A tribute mural surfaced in O Block in August 2021, immediately sparking a heated discussion. Critics argued the mural glorified the existing gang culture, while supporters viewed it as a homage to an artist who had made his mark despite tremendous odds. The debate about its removal swiftly followed, with King Von’s estate expressing willingness to abide by the community’s decision, emphasizing the original aim was to “uplift Parkway Gardens, not to cause any further angst or anxiety.”

As Chicago’s unique blend of street culture and artistry continues to pique interest, the question remains: Can a mural transform from a divisive symbol into a revenue-generating tourist attraction? The answer, it seems, lies in the beholder’s perspective.

Take a listen to the late emcee’s new posthumous release, Grandson, here below!


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