Both celebratory and reflective, this is a welcome return...

It’s been a whirlwind few years for Krept and Konan since the release of their last album, ‘The Long Way Home’. They’ve hosted TV shows, a radio show on Beats 1, and even opened up their music-themed restaurant, Crepes & Cones. Yet despite all this the duo have never felt too far away from the South London music scene they burst out of in 2010, with their first mixtapeNow the pair are back with ‘Revenge Is Sweet’.

Album opener ‘Goat Level’ brings the bravado, which for some would seem egregious but Krept and Konan really do deserve to talk about their triumphs. Not many have made it to the top by releasing only two albums in the past 10 years. Over a dramatic, almost biblical, beat they reminds us of their clever wordplay and puns, take Konan’s line: "She told me that my penthouse looks like a play for Arsenal / I told the concierge bell her in (Bellerin)". 

Drill has been both the most popular and controversial music scene in London for the past couple of years. Krept and Konan showed their support for the sound with their single earlier this year ‘Ban Drill’, a track that celebrated the genre and movement. On ‘I Spy’ the duo feature two of the biggest in the scene, K-Trap and Headie One, the latter reminding the listeners why he’s been so popular over the last year with his dizzying flow.

Keep Talking’ brings the fierceness and indulgent rap found at the start of the album; whether it’s Stormzy bragging about the cost of his parking permit or Krept telling you to suck your mum, before switching it up to tell you to suck your dad - there’s always an element that can make you laugh with their wordplay. The song ends with a verse from the late Cadet, a fitting tribute to Krept’s cousin and talented rapper, who passed away earlier this year.

Versatility and a willingness to venture outside their comfort zone is one of the reasons why the duo have achieved so much success. It’s why the Afrobeat tone with Wizkid or the Latin/Caribbean infused track featuring Tory Lanez feel effortless, while ‘Salaam’ brings more mellow moments and the shows the duo’s vulnerable side. 

The skit ‘Before It’s Too Late’ packs a punch, with a poignant and open Voice Note from Ramz: three minutes where he talks about his mental health struggles - he seems very much in the midst of these during the time of the recording. The song works as a plea for young men to open up, standing in stark contrast to the braggy lyrics that Krept and Konan opt for throughout much of the album, perhaps encapsulating the duopoly of the music industry today.

If the skit doesn’t hit you enough, the closing track ‘Broski’ certainly will – a touching ode to Nash, a close friend and business partner who took his own life after the opening of their Crepes & Cones restaurant. The two still seem lost about the situation, as can be seen in their lyrics. The album ends with a Voice Note from Nash: “Stage time, stage time my brudda. Come on kill it”. It’s fitting, but in the most bittersweet way.

Krept and Konan have produced a good album, full of great songs. They flourish when they branch out from self-congratulating lyrics and explore deeper themes, but the project is well balanced and full of emotion, both celebratory and reflective. ‘Revenge is Sweet’ almost feels like a compilation full of singles quite a few tracks are Top 10 contenders – and it’s a welcome return for a pair of South London’s finest. 

8/10

Words: Joe Hale

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