The story of Krept and Konan has been a roller coast of misfortune and success which has seen them rise to become the UKs biggest rap duo.
Now they can add another accolade to their achievements The British Empire Medal was awarded to Casyo “Krept” Johnson and Karl “Konan” Wilson for their services to music and the community in Croydon in the Queen’s Honours List.
Konan was born and grew up in Thornton Heath son of reggae great Delroy Wilson. Krept grew up in Gipsy Hill. Konan’s early life was dogged by tragedy after his step-father Carlton Ned, 41, was shot dead after he sacrificed himself to save his wife Donna and stepson after men burst into their house in Langdale Road in 2011.
Last year Krept and Konan’s second album, Revenge is Sweet, was released to widespread acclaim with a sell out tour at the 02 Arena. Aside from their music they spearheaded a campaign to defend drill music which resulted in them speaking in Parliament.
In May 2018, their friend and business partner, Nyasha “Nash” Chagonda, killed himself days before their restaurant Crepes and Cones was due to open. In February 2019 Krept’s cousin, the rapper Cadet, died in a car accident when he was travelling to a show. Then in October 2019 at a BBC Radio 1Xtra event in Birmingham, Krept was stabbed and robbed. forcing them to delay their tour.
The duo have also had success with BBC Three’s multiple award-nominated series where Krept & Konan and DJ Target put a host of upcoming rappers through their paces which returns to the screen later this month.
Krept and Konan set up an afterschool programme, Positive Direction Foundation, in 2017, and said Konan in The Guardian: “Growing up, we had youth clubs and activities after school which helped keep us off the street. Then they closed it all down and we never had nothing to do, so we was roaming getting in trouble. We wanted to create something that gives kids something to do after school. We teach them practical skills: how to sound engineer, song write, produce, record and graphic design.”
Despite everything they continue to be an inspiration.