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Dynamic duo changing the game

TALENTED ACT: Jasmine with Krept (left) and Konan

THE UK music scene is moving in a new strong way. Artists didn’t understand how to play the game in the past.

Some didn’t understand the importance of having a clean version of their explicit song. Others wouldn’t turn up on time for interviews. But the game has changed – UK duo Krept and Konan are proof of that.

Listening to the duo’s very strong mixtape, it’s clear both the MCs are equally gifted on the mic with punch lines and metaphors beyond comprehension. Their vocals have a powerful, passionate clarity, which will no doubt resonate with listeners, and lead to success if managed properly.

“We don’t wanna get money and blow it all,” Krept explains. “A lot of people let fame get to their heads, we would never do that. People you diss on the way up will be there waiting on your way down’’. Smart lads.

My heart breaks listening to their tracks My Story and Other Side, which are about Konan’s stepfather Ned, who was murdered at home when a gang came for Konan.

“I was determined to turn this negative into a positive,” Konan explained. “At the time it was make or break for me. The police took my clothes for forensic tests; I was left with absolutely nothing.”

Even though Team UK acts have their own movements and cliques, it’s unusual for so many mainstream acts to tweet and champion a new act the way they’ve embraced Krept and Konan. Everyone from Tinie, to Chip, to Wretch and more have shown the boys love.

“This industry is usually competitive and people don’t want to promote each other, but we’ve been lucky enough to make some big strong, real connections,” says Konan.

“We were around at Chip’s house the other day just reasoning and I’m still surprised coz we grew up seeing him. Even Tinie’s manager told us that Tinie never does verses for other acts, but he collaborated with us so we are truly humbled’’.
The duo’s mixtape is unique in that it sounds big and panoramic. They give the credit to their team.


CHANGING THE GAME: Krept and Konan

“We have our own movement called Play Dirty, and our in-house producers are ADP and Adot Skitz who give us our unique sound’’.

In their rise to success, the duo has also noted the rise of social media. Noting the perils of networks like Instagram, Krept said: “Everything evolves around social media. I have cousins on Instagram who are 10 years old. The porno-grafication of young people is going to get worse and we cant do anything about it. You can put bars on computers, but better still you have to educate young people about life”. Talking about the trend for young women to post scantily clad pictures of themselves online, Krept said: “You wouldn’t want your wife putting out naked pics of herself. I will ‘like’ it and maybe even follow them back on Twitter, but that girl could never be my wife”.

The boys have been nominated for a best newcomer gong at this year’s MOBO Awards. Also in the category are Etta Bond, Fuse ODG, Shakka and more. Konan reveals: “We’ve been getting our fans to vote. We have a big fan base so we hope they come through for us. We need the MOBOs coz they highlight the urban scene. When the Brit Awards turn their back on us, we still have the MOBOs.

“My favorite MOBO memory is So Solid Crew coming down from the ceiling and stuff. I’ll never forget it, it was crazy!”
Their new album is due for release in 2014, and though the album is as-yet untitled, tracks are starting to take shape.
“We only hope we can keep our lyrics fresh and real,” says Krept. “We don’t ever want to lose who we are but understand that we have to play the game and make music that the majority might want to hear, as well as mixtapes for our fans. It’s not selling out, it’s selling out stadiums!”

The fact that these two little-known MCs have galvanised young music fans to buy their music in a world where everything is now downloaded free, must mean they are worth a listen. If you don’t know, get to know.

Jasmine Dotiwala is a TV producer, director and broadcast journalist. Email her at jasmine@hiphop.com Follow her on Twitter: @jasminedotiwala

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