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A Personal Friend Remembers Social Media Star Young King Dave

A Personal Friend Remembers Social Media Star Young King Dave
  • Scott Engel

Young King Dave, through the eyes of a Middle School buddy

By Michael Cardano Jr.

“Middletown is where I’m from and everybody knows it. Everybody says hi to me and respects me.”  – Young King Dave on the Mass Appeal Youtube Channel, October 2017,

WATCH: The Land of Young King Dave.

David James Nixon of Middletown, New Jersey, known to many on the internet as “Young King Dave” had blown up on social media. He was best known for smoking “doinks” and being a Soundcloud rapper. He was 19 years old and really made a name for himself simply through his appearance. With rumors that he was weighing over 500 pounds, Nixon attracted many people to follow him and listen to his music.
When I first heard the news that Young King Dave had passed, I was not surprised, but was also still in shock. Seeing someone that you used to be real close with not be on this earth anymore is such an unpleasant feeling. After he dropped out of high school, I was not very close with him anymore, but before then, we did hang out occasionally as we had attended Thompson Middle School together. We were in a few of the same classes, so I got to know him even more.

Young King Dave was a real legend here in Middletown. Even going off to college, many of us would brag to all of our college friends about how we went to school with him and knew him personally. As he became famous on social media for his memes, videos, and songs, so many people had become aware of his presence.

He passed away on Wednesday night, May 16, and had a ton of issues with his body that he had dealt with. Matt Forlenza, one of my local friends who had still been close with Nixon, said “He was put into a medically induced coma and had pneumonia in both lungs. And he was supposed to get out of the coma in 48 hours but it took him like three weeks and it damaged his body.”

According to, Nixon had, “an infection that he let go too long for stupid reasons. But it got so bad they had to put him in a medically induced coma. Then he died.”

I used to be good friends with Nixon in middle school and there was not a day where I was not entertained. Anything he would say just became naturally funny and he really made a name for himself. He did take his fair share of bullying from his peers, however. Whether it was about his weight, or that he had Tourette Syndrome, or just people telling him he would not be successful in life, he was always determined to prove those kids wrong.

Nixon really did have it tough when he was still in school. He actually dropped out in his early years of high school to pursue his dreams. But even before that, in middle school, I remember playing against him in a recreational basketball league. His large figure made it tough for him to run the floor, but his jump shot was actually on point. To this day I still remember some of my teammates making jokes towards him; I wanted to make sure I stood up for him.

Also, when he was in 8th grade, he played for our local Pop Warner football team, the River Plaza Chargers. They implemented a new rule in which there would be no weight limit for the Midget division, which was basically all of the 8th graders.

He decided that he was going to play in a dedicated effort to begin losing weight. He played the entire season and helped his team make it all the way to the finals, which were held in Florida. There was just one issue; Nixon was not able to make the trip down because he did not think he could fit on the airplane. As sad as this was, his teammates understood. Things like this really did bring his morale down and his way of coping with it was smoking “doinks.”

My dad, Mike Cardano Sr., actually had the privilege of having lunch with Nixon this past year. He was considering bringing Nixon into his company, the FNTSY Sports Network. When they spoke, Nixon mentioned how he remembered me from when we were younger. He told my dad that I was one of the eight kids that never bullied him and stuck up for him when he needed it. He specifically named only seven others. This really made me feel like I had affected his life in a positive way.


Out here smoking doinks.”

“Who’s tryna chill and smoke some loud?”

“8:30, what the f***.”

“It’s f*ckin nice out.”

“Either DM me or hit my line bro, I got loud and I’m trying to smoke.”

These were a few of the many lines that Young King Dave used on social media. This caught everyone’s attention and I seemingly heard everyone saying them anywhere. But with all of the illegal things he did and jokes aside, Young King Dave was genuinely a really nice guy.

I think that it is really awesome that so many figures on social media acknowledge him. All you have to do is type in “Young King Dave” on Twitter and see all of the verified accounts tweeting about him. Or even look at how many followers his Instagram has accumulated over the past few years. He was featured on the show Tosh.O and Wiz Khalifa even shouted him out in the end of one of his songs.

From conquering his rough childhood to finally making it to where he wanted to be, I truly praise Young King Dave for everything. His situation was not ideal from the start with so many things he had going on and overcoming everything when he was young.

Rest in peace Dave, we all love you.

Featured Image: @_youngkingdave