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Kano drops his first album (+ welcome to grime)

Being the “professional blog of Ben Metcalfe”, I’m always slightly nervous of pushing my own distorted tastes in music and film (particularly seeing as they often expose my non-work-friendly “from da street” alter-ego and usually require “parental advisory” – this one is no exception).

However one of my favourite MC’s, Kano, has just dropped his first album and it’s totally off the hook sick (Sofia doesn’t want me to write “off the hook” because she says I sound like Maxwell from BB).

Most of you will probably have never even heard Grime before, particuarlly if you’re outside of the UK. So why not take 2 minutes out and check this out, I’ve included plenty of links to give you a real feel for the scene:

Kano made a name for himself on the East London UK Garage Grime undeground, chatting lyrics over dubs and battling with other MC’s. He’s also a regular guest on the various Garage shows on BBC 1Xtra (another thing which makes me proud to be part of the BBC).

There’s some great freestyling from him on the excellent Lord of the Mic: Battle Arena Vol 1 (check out this sample [mp3]).

However, like Wiley and Mercury-prize winning Dizzee Rascal, Kano’s chosen move away from the heavy, fierce, grime sound with this first commercial offering. There’s still some great collaborations here however – Mike “The Streets” Skinner, Terrah Danjah and D Double E to name a few.

Check out a few tracks from the album (provided by his offical website):

(Listening to Kano these tracks on mp3 has reminded that it’s just not the same experience as playing them out on vinyl – and that’s coming from me, an otherwise 100% digital kind of guy)

Here in East London, well Bethnal Green, Bow and Mile End to be precise, is the archetypal home of grime – the dark and sometimes subversive sub-genre of the currently out-of-favour UK Garage.

The underground scene’s come along way since the days of So Solid Crew making the news with their gun touting lyrics, who touted real guns to back it up. There’s kids on the estates (Americans: think “projects”) coming up and putting out some really great music.

This is the garageband generation, where an off-the-shelf Mac Mini or even a PC and a free copy of Pro Tools can be used to produced whole albums to inspirational music.

Kano on stage

Kano album cover

Published in Thoughts and Rants


  1. cj cj

    i am big lover of ukg,grime not sublow and big up kano and the rest of nasty, also to rolldeep and wiley kat. but all credits go to the Man called Dizzee Rascola, big up east london. i live in houston texas,, and missed dizzy’s show but wouldl ike for someone like kano down here. well late mate

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