Let's move to the London suburb Kate Moss got the f**k out of as fast as possible! This week: Croydon

What’s it about?

Iconic 60s concrete office blocks, the Fairfield Halls, Ikea and a big dual carriageway; what hasn’t Croydon got? It’s even home to an amazing new £1.4 billion Westfield Centre, except the council’s bankrupt so it’s not going to get built.

Also enjoys a vibrant alcohol-fuelled violent youth crime scene in the shape of Boxpark, lots of venues decorated with fluttering police barrier tape, and several magistrates courts. Plus private schools with garish uniforms so the local kids know who to mug.

Any good points?

The Westfield cancellation came only after chunks of the town centre had already been cleared and demolished. This amazing stroke of luck has transformed Croydon into a vibrant blend of boarded-up building sites and rubble-filled holes, all immeasurably prettier than the state it was in previously.

Surprisingly well connected, giving residents plenty of escape options including fast trains to London Bridge, Victoria, Gatwick and Brighton so they can visit lots of affluent areas where they can’t afford to live.

Wonderful landscapes?

Firmly egalitarian in spirit, Croydon shunned the 80s out-of-town shopping centre experience and built several in the middle of town instead, complete with a dual carriageway right through the middle, to make sure it’s uniformly shit.

When newly-built Croydon was known as the Manhattan of the UK. Yeah. In Velvet Goldmine Christian Bale ran around a Whitgift centre car park masquerading as Seventies New York, to the mirth of Croydon cinema goers and anyone with eyes.

The name Croydon comes from ‘valley of the crocuses’ in Anglo-Saxon, which was the last time a crocus was seen alive in Croydon. The purple-and-pink Saffron Square tower was apparently inspired by said crocus, perhaps only glancingly.

Otherwise it’s a calming neutral palette of grey concrete as backdrop to residents’ routing of stabbing each other while yelling in horrible south London accents. To maintain calm, the police mandate that the only colour in the landscape be from scattered Morley’s chicken wrappers.

Hang out at…

Vibrant West Croydon has its own Cash Converters, a Greggs and intriguingly named retail outfits Juz Lookin’, Kebabish and Ars Jewels. And yes, vibrant means, ‘lock your car doors if waiting in traffic’.

One of the few London boroughs to have undergone the process of degentrification, Croydon was also a hub of the UK’s biggest ever impromptu alfresco bonfire event, the 2011 riots.

West Croydon estate agents have struggled to rebrand it by appropriating surrounding place names because the surroundings are even worse.

Broad Green doesn’t have a broad green, and Thornton Heath Pond which doesn’t have a pond. There is an East Croydon and a South Croydon but no North Croydon. It once existed, but hastily renamed itself when it saw the direction things were going in.

Where to buy?

Houses are cheap so go nuts: you can get a two-bedroom maisonette for just £300k. Which is rock-bottom pricing for somewhere so close to London.

Buy in South Croydon and claim it’s Sanderstead: that way you can shop in Waitrose, pop to Oxted Everyman for the cinema, and pretend you’re not in Croydon at all. Or forget that and just buy anywhere the infamous Croydon cat killer has not yet struck. Yes, that was a real thing.

From the streets:

Tom Archer: “Did you know Kate Moss is from Croydon? Can’t say we’ve seen her since 1990, mind.”

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Me and my pulley system, with Kendrick Lamar

GLASTONBURY headliner Kendrick Lamar, the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize, talks us through his life, his work and his pulley system. 

You’ve been cited as the most influential rapper of the last decade. Is that a heavy responsibility? 

Yeah, so when I got paid for Good Kid M.A.A.D City, that’s when I started this motherfucker right here. Back in the day it was a one-floor system, simple clockwork and cantilevered weights, so you pull this lever right here and it’s winding you whatever you need from the kitchen like hot sauce, tacos, makings for a blunt, whatever.

Your third album, To Pimp A Butterfly, won a Grammy for best rap album but not album of the year. Many commentators felt this was an injustice. 

I hear that. So, bout this time, that’s when I upgraded my bad bitch here to cover two floors. Runs throughout the entire crib. You can send shit upstairs, if you upstairs you can send shit downstairs, works laterally and vertically, you know what I’m saying? A two-tier pulley system. Ain’t Drake or Jay or none of them got that.

Alright became the unifying soundtrack anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement, which must have been gratifying. 

Shit was dope. At this stage we’d passed beyond the clockwork. I’m not an engine driver, you know? I was blanking on which levers did what and one time I collided a bottle of purple drank – Future was over – with my old school Adidas and that shit was fucked up. That’s when I went electronic.

Critics saw Damn as a return to simpler hip hop after your jazz-influenced previous album. 

I guess. First out we went with a custom-made board. Switches and lights and shit, looked real fly like some old-school sci-fi movies. Like Alien up in here and shit. But when you adding to the system, a pulley going to the poolhouse and back, you got to get the goddamn soldering iron out. That sucks. I went all the way to computerised.

You were part of the first all-rap Superbowl Halftime Show, alongside Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Mary J Blige. Was that an important moment culturally? 

Sure. So once we computerised, we went four floors and outbuildings. Man, I shoulda done that earlier. Literally click an object, click a location and this pulley system will have it in your hands in less than a minute, no matter where you are on the property. It’s fresh and it’s vintage, you know? Steampunk flow. Biggest pulley system in the game, no doubt.

Finally, your new album Mr Morale & the Big Steppers is out. What do you hope audiences will take from this one? 

Seriously man, you ain’t ask about my pulley system even once. You know what? Fuck you. This is straight disrespect.