‘MC No.1’? Arguably, but in a grime scene that has evolved from Kano’s last jaunts to East Ham it is a bit of claim. Nothing wrong with a little hype, but such a title seems odd on a mixtape that has had no real promotion whatsoever. Kano’s latest is out today, exclusively from Uptown Records .
Kane passed through Westwood on Saturday, seemingly his newest and now biggest fan, to spit over a bit of hip hop. Kane was also good enough to talk a little about the CD, as well as the direction in which he is now going after parting company with 679 Recordings. I had no idea Kano was going to be on radio. I was drunk at a party and Westwood was on the dial, and instead of giving it the customary Saturday evening air-time I actually listened to it.
It was big.
It’s strange, because instead of thinking ‘Kane you wastecadet, what happened’, it was actually pleasing to hear a UK act duppying American beats. Kano has had his fair share of flak, but he has released two mixtapes when he didn’t have to, and a debut album that was more than a good insight to the sound. Even the title of that album shows how conscious Kano is of his musical path. ‘Home Sweet Home’ was fitting enough given where he was at the time, but even ‘London Town’ shows he’s trying to make a point. Kano has garnered wider attention, but at the same time has stressed, sometimes a little too much, his origins:
‘No matter how big I still hold it down,
I still float about,
I’ve still grown around shit,
So no matter how rich I get
I’ll still be a product of my environment’
On the Westwood interview, he made an interesting point about being one of the ‘trendsetters’ in grime, in that there was no ‘yellow brick road’ to follow after signing his first deal at 18. Perhaps this explains former true, grime artists and their perceived ‘over-experimentation’, since there is no precedent to rein them in. It also partly explains the unwillingness of grimeheads to let them off the hook, since they think bigger grime acts should be representing the sound on a wider level.
I was considering buying the new mixtape, but I think I’ll leave it. The project seems a little too hasty, so I wait for ‘140 Grime Street’. There are a few snippets on Kano’s myspace and, really and truly, they don’t sound too great. I don’t want to listen to ‘Crank Dat’ ever again, and the track ‘Dun Know the Myspace’ has a poor beat, as well as not reflecting that well on someone who prides themselves on being an ‘artist’. I acknowledge Myspace is important, but making a freestyle/song about it? Please.
All the same, I wait for the reaction of the grime scene when his album drops. He has the ability to come with something very good.