In Memoriam: Columbus hip-hop hype man King 7even remembered
If you wanted that old-school, New-York-party experience in Columbus, all you had to do was find a party hosted by King 7even. He worked alongside the city’s hottest DJs to usher in club bangers, while making every club night feel like a Brooklyn block party.
So when social media began to flood with #RIPKing7even and photos from loved ones, it was evident that the Columbus hip-hop community had just lost its biggest hype man.
Louis Slade-Fields, known as King 7even, passed on on May 18, 2016, after suffering from cardiac arrest. He was 39 years old.
“What made him special on the mic was his confidence. He was the most confident person I knew. I fed off of that,” said O Sharp, a Columbus DJ and one of 7even’s closest friends. “He was an inspiration to all of us. His answer to everything was, ‘So what? I’m from Brooklyn.’”
7even moved to Columbus from New York around 2003. He was working in the studio with the Ruckus Bringaz when a mutual friend introduced him to O Sharp. He then began hosting club nights alongside O Sharp and DJs Rich NYCe, J Rawls and Krate Digga. They soon formed a coalition called the Usual Suspects Crew, which operated at the peak of Downtown hip-hop clubs the Red Zone, Club Ice and Cove Lounge. It was hard to miss 7even; though short in stature, his personality could span a room of 2,000 partygoers.
7even was more than a hype man — he helped artists build music studios and assisted in sound engineering. “I’m building a new studio now. He was going to come over and check it out. But he never got to,” said J Rawls, who added that 7even helped him lay floors and set up the sound booth in his current home studio. “He helped me with everything. He made everything right.”
A jack of all trades, 7even was a prominent DJ on his own, known for his love of reggae and rappers like 2Pac and G-Unit. Mix Master Ice, DJ of the hip-hop group UTFO, bonded with 7even over their shared love of Brooklyn, Columbus and hip-hop.
“He was another Brooklyn knight, like myself. I can’t remember exactly how we met, but Columbus is small, and New Yorkers have a way of finding each other in this city,” Mix Master Ice said.
7even also played an intricate role in molding the careers of several upcoming hip-hop and R&B artists in Columbus, including Young Wise, Mz. Diggy Dulche and Dominique Larue.
“He booked my shows [and] he was a DJ for my shows, as well. He played as my bodyguard, too,” said Kei Mari, a Columbus singer who connected with 7even after he challenged her to host a packed New Year’s Eve club when she had never hosted an event before. “He told me how he had kind of backed up from the music and just wanted to stick to DJing and hosting. Shortly after he became my manager, he told me how I helped him bring his passion back for music. The passion was always there, but it lay dormant for a while.”
O Sharp said 7even impacted so many people on the music scene because he invested his time, talent and heart into helping other artists.
“So many people loved him, even though he only lived in the city a short amount of time,” he said. “When you get to see the outpouring of love for him, it’s part of the healing.”