Asked in their recent NME interview why he and collaborator Casyo ‘Krept’ Johnson chose to release two mixtapes – one daytime-themed rap record (‘7 Days’) and one slinky R&B collection best enjoyed after dark (‘7 Nights’) – simultaneously, Karl ‘Konan’ Wilson replied, “We have two different major vibes, so we wanted to represent them. Nighttime is for going out to pick up your partner; daytime is just gassed.”
The frenetic ‘7 Days’ courses with restless energy; it’s a relentless party from tracks one to 11. Take the deceptively simple ‘Wo Wo Wo’, which is underpinned by trap beats and ice-cold synths as Krept & Konan pout through such fabulously luxurious lines as “20 bottles bring me more / Wo wo wo! / You nearly stepped on my Diors”. Stormzy puffs his chest out on ‘Ask Flipz’, having re-recorded his verse to account for the success of his album ‘Gang Signs And Prayer’ (“I went gold in two weeks”), while Skepta is at his brooding best on the doomy, organ-laced ‘On My Life’, purring, “Multicultural gang / A million races / F**k Brexit – them n****rs racist”.
No wonder Krept & Konan released ‘7 Nights’ separately – it’s hard to imagine these pounding tracks sitting comfortably alongside that record’s romantic R&B. Because – make no mistake – ‘7 Nights’ is an unparalleled saucefest. ‘Wrongs’ sees Cali neo-soul singer Jhené Aiko croon sassy come-ons over lilting keys and the woozy ‘So Lit’ calculates the mathematical possibilities of a party with only two people on the guestlist. Canadian rapper Tory Lanez makes a smooth appearance on ‘Same S**t’, proving there’s nothing like a little autotune to leave a prospective lover weak at the knees.
The talented pair perhaps spread themselves a little thinly over 21 tracks; there’s not, for instance, a great deal to differentiate ‘Same S**t’ from the equally laconic ‘One More Time’. There’s much to be said for playing to your strengths, though, and they’ve honed their contrasting, distinctive sounds with this impressive double release. Krept & Konan have plenty of days and nights ahead of them.