Krept & Konan have never done anything by the book. Their debut album, The Long Way Home, is absolutely no exception.
I’m not sure how many albums can begin with a song that runs over seven minutes long, pump it full of swagger and vitriol, and make it work, but introduction and title track The Long Way Home, does just that. How many people would be allowed to get away with it on a major label like Virgin? Not many, and it’s moments of daring like this that light up the whole album and prove that Krept & Konan have kept as much creative control as they can.
And why shouldn’t they? As we pointed out before, they made history with their ‘Young Kingz’ mixtape, so anything that these boys are doing, they’re doing right. But let’s get onto talking about the album.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the The Long Way Home is a behemoth of a record. Running in at 16 tracks long, with a further two on the deluxe edition, Krept & Konan have been sure to leave no stone unturned.
There are collaborations aplenty, too. This isn’t surprising given the huge names that wanted to work on this record. We’ve got Rick Ross on ‘Certified’, Jeremih on their debut single ‘Freak of the Week’ and Wiz Khalifa on ‘Do It For The Gang’, as well as nods to homegrown talent like Skepta, Ed Sheeran and Emeli Sande and a whole list of other artists Krept & Konan have wowed along the way. The most impressive thing about the US collaborations, though, is the fact that Krept & Konan can lyrically run circles around some of the biggest names in hip hop with their tongue-in-cheek British humour: “have you ever ate McDonalds on a G4?”
The album incorporates a little bit of everything – from a reggae infused interlude with Konan’s mum on vocals to the vibes of RnB from the early 2000s, there are strings, there are saxophones, it’s grime, it’s pop…and it’s all the better for it. Tracks like ‘Last Night’ will absolutely take over clubs and festivals everywhere with its hypnotic chorus, whilst the deliciously dark, sensitive ballad ‘I Don’t Know’ boasts the talents of Rebecca Garton and is a wonderful change of pace from the majority of the album.
With two tracks missing, there’s no excuse not to grab the deluxe edition of the album, which boasts one of my personal favourites on the record, ‘Falling’. This will be one of the albums of the year and you can’t afford to miss out. The boys from Thorton Heath have done good and we still have that epic tour to attend.
From now on, when people talk about albums that changed the game, The Long Way Home will be one of them. By embracing every influence that’s ever surrounded them, Krept & Konan have produced something that’s meaningful, fierce, fun and radio-friendly, all in one.
Watch out world, they’re going to take over and they’re going to do it starting now.
The Long Way Home is available now. You can get your copy from iTunes here.