‘The Long Way Home’ is the latest release from British rap duo Krept & Konan. It serves as their first major project since becoming signed to Virgin EMI and their follow up from their highly successful Young Kingz mixtape. With guest features from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Skepta to YG and Rick Ross, the album is definitely making a statement as a major step up and rightly so. The project entered the Official Album Charts at #2, emphasising the power of having a movement in music but that is a post for another day.
One thing that stood out for me was the fact that despite the big names, there was still that ‘British/London sound’ that ran through the whole album, from the production to the flow to their famed adlibs which puts to rest the idea that they would sell out when going major.
One stand out track for me is ‘Drifting Away’. The solemn vibe created by the piano, especially at the very end, is perfect for the passion and realness expressed through the lyrics. Much like ‘Because of You’, they address the pressures of going major with the struggles of staying true to the streets.
Another stand out track ‘Certified’, featuring Rick Ross. Having him on the track increases the profile of this particular song. It seems like more than anything that this was one song that they really had fun with. You can’t help but notice the many punchlines and popular culture references, something that they are famed for. This is one ‘turn up track’ that would be live in the clubs. For Jeremih’s vocals and the bass laden beat, ‘Freak Of The Week’ is another track that should be played in the clubs and its popularity reflects its successful performance on the singles chart.
Another thing you can’t help but notice is that unlike Young Kings, you find the duo singing more on their songs, ‘Think About It’ being an example. I can’t help but feel that this is a result of going ‘mainstream’ and being partly influenced by the likes of Drake.
It’s not a perfect album. There were songs that I couldn’t help but feel to skip, ‘Do It For The Gang’ with Wiz Khalifa was one of them. It just sounded like every other typical Hip-Hop song and I don’t think it suits the theme. ‘I Don’t Know’ with Rebecca Garton isn’t particularly a bad song but it in my opinion can’t compare to ‘Dreams’ with Ed Sheeran and ‘Roses’ with Emeli Sandé.
Above all, it is an album where you can hear the passion that’s gone into it by them. On top of that, it’s an album that does navigate through the sounds of mainstream and of the hood. While some of the songs are suspect to sounding dated and stereotypical, the more thought-provoking songs on the album make it a good release from the South London duo, one that they should be proud of and one which should make people take these jokers a little more seriously.