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First of all, LONG LIVE KING VON! These days, there is never a day where he isn’t being mourned amongst his family, his fans and his community. Since his arrival to the rap game back in 2018 with his hit single “Crazy Story,” the OTF (Only The Family) rapper has always displayed a sense of loyalty as well as his thoughtful ways with his art. There was a point in time where you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing the record over the airwaves. With this in mind, he literally cemented himself as one of the best young storytellers in hip hop with this record alone. It served as one of those first glimpses into his potential. Spawning plenty of remixes and two sequels, “Crazy Story” is a memorable one in Von’s catalog — one that showcased his ability to paint pictures with sinister drill production as his canvas.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to reach his peak greatness we all knew he was going to tap in to sooner than later. Von had so much to live for and a lot to accomplish on his rise to stardom. He will truly be missed. One thing about King Von was that he always delivered effortlessly on his visuals. Working with videographers and directors like Jerry Production, Drew Filmed It, J Visuals and more, the late O’Block representer was the epitome of “quality over quantity” when it came to bringing his music to life.
Von was taken away too soon but he put in some work before his sunset, dropping off his final visual for one of the hit records “Demon” from his debut studio album, Welcome To O’Block, released last year. Joan Pabon of Blank Square Productions was the last director to work with King Von and REVOLT caught up with him to discuss their work relationship, chemistry, how they created the powerful visual and more. Check out the conversation below!
Talk to me about the concept of the “Demon” visual, and how it all came together for you and King Von.
Yeah it was pretty cool how it all came about. We already had the video ready to go about a month before what happened to him in Atlanta. It was decent because working with Von was smooth sailing the entire way and he knew how he wanted to give the visual representation of his stories.
Von was the type to buckle down and go all in when it was time to put in the work. Did you kind of spearhead the entire thing or was it like a two-headed monster where you both were equally executing ideas?
He definitely was! Yeah, it was a type of situation where he basically gave me a few ideas of what he was thinking in terms of the kind of feelings he wanted the video to give, and I simultaneously gave him my professional thoughts and opinions on how we can bring everything to life on the set and we just went from there, man. It was dope!
It seems like you are quite intentional with who you work with. When was the time you thought, “Yeah, I can really work with this dude right here”?
When I first got connected with Von, it was through my people at Blank Square Productions and when they saw what he was trying to do for his video, they pretty much felt that I would be the perfect for the task to represent the company in the best artistic way. So, it has been a go ever since for us man.
The visual for “Demon” was not the first time you worked with him. To my understanding, you both shot “Why He Told” and “Wayne Story” back to back, right? How was that?
Yeah bro, both of those videos were shot on the exact same set and it took us 26 hours total to finish the job. It took us 13 hours a piece to complete them, but it was well worth it. I got to see him in a different element creatively and he was really about his business, so it was solid for me.
Did you say 13 hours a day? Got damn! Now that is what you call dedication!
Hahaha! Hell yeah bro, it was dope. Even when we were not working, Von was working knocking out interviews, doing verses and all, man. But, all the pieces came together for sure. I thoroughly enjoyed myself both days just being in that type of creative space, you know what I mean?
Indeed! The “Demon” visual, in my opinion, it is much more than just a typical music video shoot. It is more of a cinematic masterpiece in a sense. Hats off to you for helping bring that record to life.
Thanks man, yeah you know that is what King Von was thorough with: his storytelling. It was only right that we put together a short film to match the storyline. The song was already properly executed, we just had to add the icing on the cake honestly. We just wanted the viewers to actually feel it. And if you notice at the end, we added Von’s voice and you can hear him giving details on how he wanted it done so that gave more feeling, as well.
I have watched the video about three times already and it definitely adds more substance to the record being able to see what Von is saying. How does it feel for you to be a part of history as being the last director to work with him on a music video?
Bittersweet — definitely bittersweet, man. None of us saw his death coming, so it through me for a loop. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to work with him on the level that I did.
Throughout your time working with King Von, is there anything you personally learned from him that you could apply to your craft moving forward?
Yeah man, working with him taught me to keep going — always keep going. He respected my vision and trusted me like no other artist has, so that is enough motivation to keep doing what I’m doing as a director to make sure these artists’ messages are properly carried out.
King Von and Joan Pabon clearly made magic together and it was only right. The amount of hard work they both invested into their craft to make sure we as viewers get captivating results each time is very impressive to say the least.
Check out King Von’s final video “Demon” above and let us know your thoughts. LONG LIVE V. ROY!