'An Ambulance Came the First Time I Got High' – Krept & Konan On Growing Up in South London

Ahead of the release of their new album, 'Revenge Is Sweet', we spoke to the duo about first kisses, date spots and the biggest mistakes they made as teenagers.
krept & konan
Photo supplied.

Krept & Konan have broken multiple records since 2013, when their debut mixtape became the highest-charting UK release by an unsigned act.

When we met last week, I could have asked them about all those records, or their new album, Revenge Is Sweet, which is coming out on the 1st of November – but they've talked about all that before. Instead, I asked them a load of questions about growing up in south London, as part of our Share Location series.


VICE: What's the worst job you've ever had?
Krept: I got a job at Next one Christmas when I was 16. People were saying it was the thing to do – it would be fun, that there'd be girls and stuff. But it wasn't like that at all, I just had to keep folding and refolding clothes that people chucked wherever they wanted. I felt cheated. I literally lasted one day and didn't go back.
Konan: One time I worked in Sainsbury's, picking stuff out for online shops. There was this older black guy who also worked there, and he'd talk to me in the isles. He'd chat for time. One time he was stood there moaning about how it was his birthday and how he thought he should have had the day off. He was saying he'd worked every job in the store: butcher, baker, checkouts, doing loading. I just had this image of me being his age saying the exact same thing to a young kid, and thought, 'Fuck this.' It was like I had a vision. Lunch came and I cut, and I never went back.

Where did you have your first snog?
Krept: In primary school. I think I was in year two. I'll never forget it. The girl instigated it, saying she fancied me and that. She asked if I would be her girlfriend. At break time we went behind the climbing frame and I kissed her. I was like, 'Mmm, I like this.' She was my girlfriend for maybe two days.
Konan: I can't remember, but I've been kissing girls for a long time. I came in with kiss-chase in reception, girls fighting over me. There were two, Rosie and Zoe – I'll never forget them. I preferred Zoe. I've been a ladies man ever since a young kid.


Where was your classic date spot?
Krept: Odeon cinema in Streatham. I'd go there with every girl I met. Always the Odeon: Valentine's Day, birthday, Saturday. I really like going to the cinema. I like it, the popcorn and the snacks.
Konan: My house, or theirs. I don't think I really had one. I only started doing that when I had a girlfriend. I guess sometimes we'd go to Melfort Park, near my house: "Link me, let's go to the park." There was the shelter and benches. Also, I can't lie – I feel like I've seen every single film there is. I'm up to date. Anything you need to see, I think I've seen. All the good ones.

krept & konan

Photo supplied.

What was your first experience of smoking weed ?
Konan: I can't even remember – we bunked school at, like, 13 and just got high. I got so high I felt like I went out my body. We call it "going out into the world". After, I had to do this test, and I finished it first because I was so paranoid I was behind. I was kinda smart at school so I still aced it.
Krept: For me it was when I was 25. We were in the studio and put weed in this shisha pipe, bare straight raw weed, no tobacco. I was smoking it, it was cool. And then it just hit me. There was a stage where we were high and laughing hysterically, eating sweets. Then it hit me again – man, I knew something wasn't right. It hit me more and more and more. I went outside, and when the air hit me everything just went. I stood still for five minutes, not moving. Then I'm going upstairs, but I'm twitching, like body-popping my way up.
Konan: It was fucking mad. He came up and was like, "I cant stop body-popping." And we're all high as hell. I grabbed his arm to make him stop, but he just started popping his other arm. He was asking us to help him but we were all crying with laughter.
Krept: I'm panicking, and then started shaking and making weird noises, like having a fit, except I'm not, I'm just high. I thought I was dying. They threw water over me, which woke me up for 20 seconds. I realised I looked like a dickhead, then just started cracking out again on the floor. This goes on for hours. An ambulance came and I was walking out through this complex, trying to be normal, but man, I must have looked like a cracked-out Michael Jackson moonwalking.
Konan: It was the funniest thing I've seen in my life.


Where have you thrown up in Britain?
Konan: There was that time in Liverpool. We did a club show but the electrics went, so they took us to this other club. It was just us and these girls in the VIP area. It was a bit mental, to be honest: girls kissing each other, one was drinking my blood when I cut my hand. I was obviously too wasted to drive my car, so this girl offered to. 'Whatever,' I thought, chucking her my keys. We got in and she started driving and nearly ran over a police officer, going up on the pavement. So she got nicked.

I was so drunk I hadn't even noticed she was fucked. I ended up in a cab and got dropped at this hotel, but I didn't even know where my room was. When I found it there's a girl in there waiting for me. I thought it was going to go down – I went to get cracking. And then I just puked. She spent the whole night rubbing my back while I vomited. She was fuming in the morning. And then I had to go find my car.

What's the first thing you stole, if you've ever stolen anything?
Konan: I tried to nick a jumper from an old school sports shop in Bromley. I got done for theft – my mum was disappointed in me. It got way worse after that, it was the start of my terrors. You know I've been to prison for robbing a McDonalds?

Prison seems a bit harsh for stealing some burgers?
Konan: No, I robbed the actual McDonald's when I was 16 or 17. The tills and stuff. I did a year inside.


Who is the worst living Brit?
Krept & Konan: Katie Hopkins – we hate her.
Krept: Everything she says is so racist and ignorant, it makes me sick. Get in the fucking bin.
Konan: I hate when people spread negative ideology. She's disgusting, a disgusting human.

Where's your favourite place to perform in the UK?
Konan: My favourite was Wireless, when they used to have the tent. They don't have it anymore – I think we broke it. We did a show in it in 2015, which will go down in history. We had seven emergency stops, the tent ripped, people climbed up on the railings. The head of Wireless had to have a word with us because it was too mad. There's something about performing in tents – that energy is contained.

What was the biggest mistake of your teenage years?
Krept: It sounds bad, but going to uni. It was an absolute waste of time doing accounting at Portsmouth. I'm paying back, like, £30k in student loans for a degree that didn't mean anything. It didn't even teach me how to be an accountant. I didn't learn anything about tax – stuff you should fucking learn to be an accountant. They just put this course together to take up three years of my time.

Where was the first time you got in somewhere for free, or were given something for free, because of your newfound fame?
Konan: It was Nike, when we did a grime link-up on Channel U with DJ Cameo. They took us to Nike's PR and they asked us what our sizes were. It was sick – we were getting free bits. Back in the day we'd be stressing our mum's for new Nikes, and now we were getting them for free.

Do you remember your first physical fight?
Konan: When I was in year seven. Some big white brother in the year above – I can't remember his name – thought he could try it a bit with me because I've always been short. I whooped his arse; he started crying on the field. People had to break us up. After that, everyone started respecting me.

Krept & Konan's new album, Revenge Is Sweet, is released on the 1st of November.