When you see the persistency and struggles of two individuals who finally make it, there is a feeling of bliss, loyalty but most importantly gratification. From spraying bars on SBTV in 2009, to their initial mainstream exposure on Jay Z and Kanye’s ‘Otis’ to the incredibly heartfelt ‘My Story’, Thornton Heath rappers Krept and Konan, reveal it all and hold no boundaries on their debut album ‘The Long Way Home’.
With features from US big hitters YG, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, as well as home grown talent Skepta, Emeli Sandé and more, ‘The Long Way Home’ is a musical journey that leaves very little untouched. The instrumentation and subject matter, makes for a progressive step forward from their previous material.
The album begins with a spacey and eerie instrumental, but the best part is at 04:23 where the beat changes. The change represents the two emotions of the MCs, both acknowledging the journey, but Krept in a more assertive monumental way, with lyrics like “Just picked up my award in front of Pharrell”, whilst Konan’s nostalgic verse creates a sentimental vibe, with lyrics like “When I was young I already dreamed to be this/ I wish my dad was alive so he can see this”.
It doesn’t take long for the Punchlines Kings to showcase what they do best. On ‘Last Night’ the rappers team up with YG, over a trap beat with a similar feel to GOOD music’s ‘Mercy’. Definitely not the most lyrical, but the lines “In school we had the Pradas/ Now it’s red Balenciagas/ Walked in and do a/Kanye on n***** B*****, you ain’t got the answers” leave a lasting impression. Besides YG’s susceptible and cringe worthy lyrics “I put that molly in her Evian/then asked if I can f***, she said yeah” this will definitely go through a number of rewinds.
Its clear Krept and Konan want to give us an in-depth insight in to their lives. ‘Fell Apart (Interlude)’ performed by Konan’s mum is a sweet Lovers Rock tune, which makes for a fitting transition in to ‘Fell Apart / Lucky Ones’. Arguably the best song on the album, the level of honesty and transparency creates a very motivational and inspirational vibe. Konan’s singing surprisingly is very good and fits with the track. This song really captures the rappers journey, from the death of Konan’s step-dad Carlton, to their hit cover of Otis to revealing how certain DJs didn’t want to play their music.
‘I Don’t Know’ (featuring Rebecca Garton), is one of those ‘you need something for the girls’ type songs, which really allows guest feature Rebecca Garton to shine. Although this song doesn’t really show of the MC’s best skills, the bonus song ‘So Easy’ is a more enjoyable and playful song where both rappers switch their flows up.
With the various US guest features on the album, the sound is a very contemporary, and this feels like a conscious decision to appeal to the American market. This can heard especially in songs like ‘Freak of the Week’, ‘Last Night’ and ‘Certified’ which is a fairly good track but it doesn’t touch their previous classic ‘Don’t Waste My Time’. Although Krept and Konan have travelled from Egypt to LA, London is home and the journey back, is a realisation of how far they have come. There is sense of pride and clarification of what they have achieved and what is yet to come.