Our newest feature we are calling ‘From The Lens’ is letting some of the top photographers we know and are friend with talk about their experiences in the pit and the vibe capturing and the photographer to kick off this feature is Courtney Francis and he had the pleasure of shooting at the Krept & Konan ‘A night to remember’ show at a sold out O2 brixton academy!
If you were to ask anyone in the UK to name the biggest names in rap, Krept & Konan will be in the list of names mentioned. It has been this way since thier record breaking album ‘Young Kingz’ made the industry pay attention to the support that the duo have earned throughout the years. They have been putting in the work. Creating club bangers and hit songs that are known nationwide. On April Fools Day, they accomplished something that would show everyone they are not playing around.
The duo have proven that they are taking music very serious. With the commerical success of singles like ‘Freak of the week’, their latest album ‘The Long Way Home’ entering the charts at No.2 and a national tour, Krept & Konan are rap heavyweights. Ever since I first saw them perform at a MOBO unsigned event 4 years ago, their eminence was evident.
As an artist, being able to create music that results in selling out a headline show where everyone is there for you must feel amazing. They have done it before. But this time the feeling was amplified as they sold out the O2 Brixton Academy, the largest musical venue they have headlined. This was an incredible acheivement. Especially after already selling out a nationwide tour months before. This is a testiment to the genuine support they have in London. Homegrown talent that have excelled around the world and now bringing a big show back home.
Another notable fact was who was supporting them. Ty Dollar Sign is a big deal in the US. Having platinum singles under his belt, it’s interesting that Dollar is billed as a support act. But this is London, not Los Angeles and in this city Krept & Konan are the front runners. Songs like ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ will comfortably go against any song in a London club. That being said, Dollar Sign had the crowd jumping with ‘Paraniod’ and ‘Or Nah’ blasting through the speakers. At one point, he jumped off the stage and into the crowd, who held him up just high enough for security to pull him back out of the hoard of fans.
As all the lights turned off, everyone knew what was about to happen. Phones in hands and Snapchat ready, Konan came out to a sea of lights and a loud roar as he energentically performed ‘Last Night in LA’. The braggadocios track was matched by the enthusiasm that Konan demonstrated. Running from left to right servicing the crowd spraying quick fire bars. If you ever heard the song, you know how dynamic it is. The fact that he was able to perform in it’s entirety showed experience on the stage.
Talking about the stage, the set design was very familiar to Londoners. A large tube carriage strecthed across the stage where Brixton academy was the main stop. The ladies voice on the tannoy made it clear when special guest were making an appearance. Tall flames illuminated the venue and brought everyones attention to Doctor Cosmic on the decks and Krept moving along a platform above the tube carraige. Visually, it was striking. A welcomed difference from the usual dark stage with the artist barely visable.
As the fire flew into the air, Krept confidently walked down to the stage floor as Cosmic played ‘Last Night’. The crowd screamed every word of the chorus as the two covered the stage making sure they showed love to everyone who has been queuing for hours before the door opened to ensure they were at the front of the crowd. Fan favourites such as ‘Too Young’ and ‘Down South’ had the singalong crew showing they have been fans of the music for a long time.
Just as I was ushered out of the photo pit by a security gruad with a chip on his shoulder as a result of the 3 song policy, the tube door opened and Mo Stack ran on stage and performed ‘I Do’ to a rapturous response. Every show I’ve been to where Mo Stack has been there, I’m always gassed by the response of the crowd shouting his lyrics back to him. His comedic rapping style has struck a chord with young listeners and this was clearly shown.
The show was filled with highlights. Konan brought his mum out on stage and performed the heartfelt ‘My Story’, Solo 45 got 3 reloads before actually performing ‘Feed Em To The Lions’ and Sneakbo performing in Brixton for the first time. Performances from Stormzy, Yungen, Lethal Bizzle and Craig David kept everyone on their toes. It was non-stop entertainment. There was one point, during the performance of ‘Certified’ when I thought that Rick Ross was going to come out from the double doors. It didn’t happen but that’s how the show made me feel. Excitable. Krept reminded us many times, “This isn’t the show you thought it would be” and he was right. A great example of this was Emeli Sande making an appeareance and singing her heart out during ‘Roses’. The turn up tunes were crazy, but Krept & Konan continued to show us that their music has grown. Demanding everyones attention whilst performing very personal songs about love and loss showed me that they have a varied style which is welcomed by their supporters who sang along at every chance.
The show was electric. Fireworks, large flames and some of the best UK acts performing hits that had the sold out 5000 capacity venue singing in unison. Krept & Konan has added another trophy to their cabinet. They have shown everyone, once again, that they are one of the biggest musical acts to come out of the United Kingdom. As they take the show on the road nationwide, it was only right that they kicked off one of the best rap shows London has seen in their side of town, South London. The name of their tour described the night pefectely. A Night To Remember.