UK Music

10 Years of Krept & Konan: Two of the most influential figures in the UK scene

10 years ago this year, Krept & Konan dropped their first mixtape, Redrum Volume 1. Since then, it has been a climb to the top with various obstacles but the pair are now regarded as two of the biggest and most influential rappers around the UK scene.

In 2009, the duo were unsigned but they decided they would be taking their music careers more seriously. Dropping Redrum allowed them to showcase their lyrical ability and to start pushing their work. Although it was well received, it was not until a year later when they dropped their second EP, Tsunami that caught the attention of the masses.

The EP featured tracks such as “My Hood” and included features from the likes of Ghetts, Giggs and Scorcher. During this period of time, Krept & Konan started releasing their own remixes and cover versions of some the biggest American Hip-Hop hits of the time. One of these was the hugely popular Jay-Z and Kanye West hit, “Otis”. The duo released their own version using their unique and clever metaphorical punchlines.

KILT that pussy but I ain’t Scottish

Krept, Otis Remix (2011)

Get girls WHIPPED then I screw the driver

Konan, Otis Remix (2011)

The track amassed millions of views but was unfortunately taken down from Youtube, rumoured to be from Jay-Z’s legal team. Baring in mind, this was all during a time when UK Rap music videos rarely reached those types of views. Nevertheless this did not stop them as during 2011, they went onto to release a number of songs that enabled them to launch their names into people’s minds. They remixed Lil Wayne and Drake’s hit “Motto” as they called on fellow Play Dirty member, Yungen, to feature. They also released their own hits “Paranormal Activity” featuring various other UK talents, “Go Down South” featuring Yungen and Chip, “So Far” featuring Josh Osho and “Let Go” featuring Lewis Watson.

This all then eventually led up to the release of their third EP, Young Kingz in September 2013. Tsunami put them on the map in terms of UK Rap and becoming an up and coming duo but Young Kingz took Krept and Konan to another level. This success of continuing back to back hits and the initial success of Young Kingz led them to a MOBO Award for Best UK Newcomer in 2013.

The game changer of the EP was track number 6, “Don’t Waste My Time”. In hindsight, the track has gone on to become one of the biggest UK Rap tracks this decade. The track excelled in the UK and reached out to American audiences with the likes of Wiz Khalifa and French Montana endorsing and cosigning the track. French Montana and the late Chinx also got on the remix.

At the time, the pair were still unsigned and released the mixtape totally off their own back. The EP reached the UK Album charts and the UK R&B charts. This was a huge step for the UK scene as a whole and for Krept & Konan. This success took place during a period of time when the UK scene was slowly reaching the heights that we witness it in today.

Since the release of Young Kingz, Krept & Konan have taken their careers and music to a new peak every new year.

Their debut studio album Long Way Home allowed them to break even more barriers in the American market. As Chip had previously done in the likes of 2009/2010, Krept & Konan were doing the same. They were allowed to flourish with Rick Ross, Jeremih and YG being key features on the album. “Freak of the Week” went Platinum and peaked at number 2 on the UK R&B Charts. These features did not come across as manufactured either. Not that Chip’s American features necessarily were but they came at a time of label backing and needing to contrive to a particular sound for the charts. Regardless, Chip’s American features helped pave the way for the likes of Krept & Konan who built on this bridge.

The album was a huge with it peaking at number 2 on the UK Album charts. 7 Days and 7 Nights EP arrived in 2017 with the duo showcasing their diversity in the R&B and Rap scene. American features followed with the likes of Tory Lanez and Jhene Aiko collaborating.

The rise of Krept & Konan in the UK Rap scene has seen obstacles stop them in their tracks but they have never been beaten. The pair have gone on to be a huge inspiration in, not just the UK Rap scene, but the UK music scene as a whole. As Giggs was the foundation of the UK Rap scene, Krept & Konan have only helped push that further. Their recent visit to Parliament to discuss the matters behind political figures and law enforcement’s wanting to ban Drill showcases their love for the music scene but also, their power in it too. More recently, their appearance on Good Morning Britain to promote the matter further again, is pushing boundaries and change. Outside of music, it cannot be forgotten that the duo do so much for the community too. Creating after school activities through their Positive Directions Foundation and the opening of their restaurant Crepes and Cones is just a couple of example.

Their latest work “Ban Drill” and “I Spy” featuring Headie One and K Trap is believed to be a lead up to another studio album. Although names and release dates are unknown, if the pair continue in the way they are heading then there is no reason why further barriers and boundaries cannot be broken. Krept & Konan should now be held in high esteem and regard when discussing greats of the UK Urban music scene.

Listen to their latest releases “Ban Drill” and “I Spy” on Spotify below:

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