fri 20/09/2019

CD: Kano - Hoodies All Summer | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Kano - Hoodies All Summer

CD: Kano - Hoodies All Summer

A career best for an MC who's been at the heart of grime since its inception

Of all grime's original generation, Kano has a strong claim to being the greatest rhyme-constructor in the old school hip hop sense of dense rhymes packed with multiple meanings. Add movie star looks and a penchant for fur coats in photoshoots and he was most young grime fans' tip for following Dizzee Rascal into the big league. But though he got the major label deal, MOBO awards, Mercury nominations and Damon Albarn collaborations, and though his 2016 Made in the Manor album hit the top ten, he's never quite parlayed that into becoming a breakout superstar, a household name in that Dizzee or Stormzy sense. 

Maybe this is the album to change that, though. The 18 minute video for “Trouble” and Class of Deja” – a beautifully framed depiction of the joy and pain of black families' life in London, featuring fellow veterans D Double E and Ghetts – has already made a big impact as a manifesto for grime as a fully mature form with wisdom to impart to younger generations. And the album follows through on that brilliantly. Kicking off with the gorgeous string sample from Sade’s 1992 “Pearls” (as also used in Asa Chang & Junray's 2001 bizarro ambient pop piece “Hana”) hints that it's going to be deadly serious and introspective, but the second Kano's voice comes in, it's clear that the seriousness is raging but also pumped up with wit and party ready beats and flows.

As ever, Kano is conscious, angry, lyrically dense – but here he's more focussed than ever. Where Manor kicked off hard, but then meandered in rather worthier old school hip hop territories at length, this is a lean and mean ten tracks, and is full of grime's eerie electronic tonalities – but also its roots in the rave. The presence of Jamaican dancehall star Popcaan and grime-turned-dance genius Lil Silva should give you the indication about how much this is aimed at DJs and dancers as much as broadsheet analysts. Funky and heart-wrenching, furious and funny, often all in the same verse, this easily his best yet and deserves huge success.

@joemuggs

Watch "Trouble" / "Class of Deja":

 

As ever, Kano is conscious, angry, lyrically dense – but here he's more focussed than ever

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.