KingFace can’t walk two blocks without being stopped and recognized, either by a social media follower, or just for openly sporting a MAGA hat in the middle of New York City.
“I’m not here to convince anybody to be a Trump supporter or a Republican, I just want to share the truth,” he said. “Trump just so happens to be the truth; if it wasn’t the truth I wouldn’t support him, I wouldn’t defend it. But being that he is, I have no choice but to defend the truth.”
Now a public figure, KingFace, who is based in Queens, New York, said it really all happened by accident. He likes President Donald Trump’s policies and openly defends them often because the hat he’s worn every day for the past three years is a “conversation starter.”
One of his videos went viral. Since then, he’s been invited to the White House for the recent Young Black Leadership Summit and spoken on stage at the Atlanta Blexit event. A few years ago, he never would have thought he’d set foot in these places.
About a decade ago, politics meant nothing to him because they didn’t affect his life in a neighborhood rife with crime and poverty. Now he’s talking to people in the spot he once was in, and his reach has extended far beyond that.
“I was being a follower, not understanding that I’m a leader,” he said. “When I realized that I was a leader, I changed my mentality, which is the first thing that’s important. Once you change the way you think, then your life will change.
“For me, changing the way I think, I was invited to the White House. I met the president. That’s a positive thing for people to see.”
KingFace was born Larry Henry, in Florida. When he was 3 months old, his mother gave him to his father to raise. He and his father then moved to Brooklyn.
“I was a troubled youth, I was getting involved in stuff that I shouldn’t have gotten involved with, like gangs, and catching gun charges, getting kicked out of school. I was basically a nuisance and basically a problem in society,” he said.
He was looking for acceptance, and in the Brooklyn neighborhoods he lived in, the clear path to success was to run with gangs and work for drug dealers.
“I wasn’t thinking for myself,” he said. He really only became part of a gang by being “guilty by association.” Since everyone already thought he was part of a gang, he joined one.
KingFace was, and still is, a member of the Bloods, though he’s inactive. He wasn’t interested in fighting other gang members; in fact, he was the only one in his neighborhood who wasn’t a Crip.
Attacking each other on sight, based on color, is exactly what’s happening with identity politics in the culture today, he added. “I wanted to see the end of that, so that’s what led to my changing my mentality.”
“I realized as I was looking at what was going on in my community, it was just damaging. In one year, I lost over like 30 of my friends to murder, and they didn’t even get a chance to be 18 years old, so they don’t even know what it’s like to be an adult. Seeing that, it hurt me. I’m human. As much as I can seem tough and stuff like that, I’m human, and it hurts to see people that you care about die.”
Foray Into Politics
KingFace actually grew up a Trump supporter.
“I’ve always liked Donald Trump, since I was a kid,” he said. Trump was referenced in rap all the time. He was a household name. “He was always considered the American dream.”
But he doesn’t defend the president because he likes him as a personality; today, he’s far more interested in Trump’s policies.
“What he’s accomplishing now, he’s been saying for 30 years,” he said.
“You’ve seen the passion of how much he loves this country, and how much he wants to save it. He wants to help Americans—which includes blacks,” he said. “I hate it when black people think just because you say American, it’s not including them. Black people have the same right to be an American as anybody else. We’ve died for this country, we helped build this country.”
“For me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Democrat or Republican in office, as long as you’re doing the best for the country.”
In fact, KingFace had voted for Barack Obama.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to show my people that there should be no excuses now because we have a black president,” he said. He noticed that people in his community had bought into the victim mentality, believing some imaginary oppressor had told them they could never accomplish certain things in their life because of their color. With a black president in office, KingFace thought people might see that now there was no excuse—they could accomplish anything they set their minds to.
Once he voted for Obama, though, he started looking into what the Democratic Party stood for, and found that it was almost single-handedly responsible for all the negative things that had happened to his community, such as the welfare state and identity politics. This caused him to become interested in politics.
“Poverty, lack of education, safety, crime—I see a lot of that in our neighborhood. I’ve learned that politics can have a major effect on the changes in our community,” KingFace said.
When Aristotle wrote that man was a political animal, he was by no means saying we’d be happiest as legislators; rather, that we are social and live and thrive in cities and societies.
KingFace espouses a similar philosophy—he lives in a community, so of course he has an interest in how it works, where he stands, and how it can be made better.
He has seen big government create the sort of dependency that’s taken away people’s can-do attitudes. The result is the opposite of a virtuous cycle. He sees young women with low self-worth dressing and behaving promiscuously, getting pregnant, and raising children without fathers—children who have low self-worth because one of their parents didn’t want them. These are the girls who repeat the cycle and the boys who go on to commit crimes.
“I think these things are important because it is part of the development of life and how you look at yourself,” he said.
“Because they don’t care about their own lives. So why would they care about yours? So these things are important. I think we try to ignore it, act like it doesn’t mean anything, but it does because it’s part of the cycle of the dangers in our community, especially black on black crime.”
Economic policy is also at the heart of many issues. Everyone is looking for peace of mind, he said, and a lot of people in his community don’t have that because they’re worrying about how to pay their bills.
KingFace believes giving his community back their self-worth is far more important.
“Everything about what I’m doing is about mentality. Because once we change the mentality, then we’ll actually start to see some change,” he said.
Becoming the Solution
KingFace mentioned he recently invited Jesus into his life and has peace knowing he’s walking a righteous path. He noted that he doesn’t call himself a Christian.
“Jesus did not hang with the rich and popular and successful. He was around the no-good people, the criminals, the thieves, you know, because that’s who he wants to reach,” KingFace said.
“I believe these are the people that are most important to reach, because they’re the people that really affect a normal citizen’s life,” he said. Most people going about their lives doing the right things won’t affect much. But people doing the wrong things end up disproportionately affecting everyone “because now you can get robbed by these people, home invasions, crime.”
These are people in KingFace’s neighborhoods, and often they’re just following what they see.
“I think it’s important that people get to see different options,” he said. “If I show a young black man that you don’t have to sell drugs to drive a Benz, I drive a Benz and I don’t sell drugs—what’s the option? Oh, you could do this, you could get into politics, you could get into public speaking, you could get into other things other than selling drugs. Because in our community, that’s the only option we see for success. We don’t see the doctors and teachers driving around in our neighborhood with a lot of money, we see the drug dealers like that.”
“I’ve got an eighth grade education but that didn’t stop me from learning. That didn’t stop me from reading. That didn’t stop me from researching,” he said. He can cite statistics on any area of policy that may affect his community, and can tell you more about local and national legislation than some newspapers can. Defending Trump has given him plenty of practice.
And people listen because he is part of their community. He speaks their language, which is more than just words. It’s also how you dress, where you come from, how you hold yourself. People in his community don’t want to listen to someone else who also has nothing, and they also don’t want to listen to a man who has never done wrong and won’t understand why people do certain things, he added.
“I don’t really want to dwell on the negatives [I’ve done in my past], but I’m not ashamed of it, because if I didn’t go do those things I wouldn’t be able to speak and relate to the people in my neighborhood,” he said.
“I don’t want to ostracize them. I don’t want to leave [gang members] behind. That’s what most people do when they get in a certain position. They leave the people behind. No, I want to bring you with me. But if you’re going to come with me, we’re going to do it the right way. We need to help fix our community.”
Many are reluctant to leave gangs, for instance, for fear of losing ties to people, and KingFace doesn’t see this as a bad thing. He says he is a Blood for life.
“Blood” stands for Brotherly Love Overrides Oppression and Destruction, and although the gangs don’t necessarily stand for that, that’s what KingFace signed up for, and that’s what he intends to have the gangs really do.
“Let’s do something different, more positive. Let’s do this gang stuff that was originally about our community and uplifting our community, let’s really live up to that,” he said. “Instead of making it negative, let’s just turn it around and make it a positive.”
KingFace says his mission is to spread the truth.
“I think my purpose, which should be everybody’s purpose, is to save souls. At the end of the day, the day I go I want to be able to say, ‘God, look, I saved these people from damnation. I’ve opened their eyes.’ I want to be able to bring souls back with me when I see my maker,” he said.
“It’s not about money, a lot of people think this is about money—I can make money, I was making a lot of money living an illegal lifestyle. Money is the easiest thing to make. I could go outside and put my hand out and I could get money. We make money seem like it’s so important,” he said.
“I’m focused on changing people’s minds and waking them up to what’s really going on.”