There's no question about it, King L has gained new fans with his radio hit "Val Venis." There is one thing, however, that might leave some of those fans scratching their heads. That is, who the heck is Val Venis?
"He's a old wrestler I grew up off of," King L explains to ABC News Radio. That "old wrestler," is Canada native Sean Morley, who introduced his porn star persona Val Venis to World Wrestling Federation fans in the late 90s. Val's theme music "Hello, ladies" gave way to a "Helloooo, ladies," catchphrase which King L borrowed for his first single.
As King L remembers, Val "used to do a little dance or whatever when he came out and it was funny." Those moves inspired King L's Val Venis dance, which he demonstrates in a short YouTube clip. Naturally, his "Val Venis" single is playing in the background.
The song was recorded as "a joke," King L tells ABC News Radio. He uploaded it to YouTube though, and the response was immediate. In just a day, the video had around 24,000 views, says King L. "So, we just, you know what I'm saying, ran with it and made it the single," he says.
Thanks to "Val Venis" and his "Too Cool" remix featuring 2 Chainz, Chicago native King L has gained the attention of critics and fans across the map. When MTV spotlighted Windy City rappers as part of its Sucker Free Chicago special earlier this year, Kanye West's producer and mentor No I.D. gave props to King L for helping lead the charge for up-and-coming rappers in Chi-town.
"I love Chicago. That's my city," King L tells ABC News Radio. In just the last year, Chicago stars, including Chicago star YP has inked a deal with Universal Republic and Rocky Fresh has signed on to Maybach Music Group. King L, who got a deal with Epic, says, "It's like the city happy for... for us. It's like it's our turn now."
The Chicagoan says that people in his hometown are happy to support a group of rappers who are actually making it.
Right now, King L is away from home, touring alongside his Epic label mate Fresco Kane. The East St. Louis, IL, native Fresco has been working on his debut album with help from his So So Def boss Jermaine Dupri, and earlier this year released his song "Hump wit It" featuring Busta Rhymes.
Both King L and Fresco Kane are working on their debut albums.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio