British rapper Kano emerged during the mid-2000s as one of the most skilled MCs associated with the fledgling grime scene, then continued to grow artistically as well as commercially over the coming decades. Drawing from U.K. pirate radio as well as American rap, he possesses a dense, articulate rhyming style, ably switching between serious and light-hearted lyrical subjects with ease. First establishing his name with underground hits such as 2004's "P's and Q's," he made his full-length debut the following year with Home Sweet Home, one of grime's fundamental early releases. Following the more commercial 2007 effort London Town, Kano guested on tracks by artists such as Gorillaz and Chase & Status while releasing several underground mixtapes and independent albums in addition to pursuing his acting career. After a lengthy gap between albums, he returned in 2016 with the U.K. Top Ten-charting, MOBO-winning Made in the Manor. Kane Brett Robinson was born in East Ham, London in 1985. Prior to becoming known in the U.K. mainstream as a solo artist, he was a member of N.A.S.T.Y. Crew, which also included future grime stars Jammer, D Double E, and Ghetts. His first single, "Boys Love Girls," was an underground hit that served as a springboard for his solo deal with the Warner-supported 679 Recordings. The 2004 track "P's & Q's," produced by DaVinche, was his first release for the label. "Typical Me," a collaboration with Fraser T. Smith, was issued the following February, reached number 22 on the U.K. pop chart, and set up the highly acclaimed, moderately successful Home Sweet Home, an album that also involved productions from Diplo, Mike Skinner (aka the Streets), and Paul Epworth. He subsequently took the 2005 MOBO Award for Best Newcomer. Kano and Smith worked even closer together on London Town, a 2007 follow-up propelled by the number 18 U.K. pop hit "This Is the Girl," featuring Craig David. The MC went independent with the less commercial 140 Grime Street (2008) and Method to the Maadness (2010), albums that nonetheless reached the Top 50 as he sustained his profile with appearances on tracks by Chase & Status, Gorillaz, and Lethal Bizzle. After several other collaborations and mixtapes, as well as roles in the film Tower Block and the first two seasons of the Channel 4 series Top Boy, a deal with Parlophone enabled the release of the fifth proper Kano album, Made in the Manor, in 2016. The release was his biggest success to date, reaching number eight and winning Best Album at the 2016 MOBO Awards. The rapper returned in 2019 with sixth album Hoodies All Summer, previewed by singles "Trouble" and "Class of Deja." ~ Vincent Thomas & Andy Kellman
25 albums sorted by Most acclaimed
Narrow my search
Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 30, 2019 | Parlophone UK
Much like fellow grime originators Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, Kano released a highly acclaimed debut album during the genre's first wave circa 2003-2005, then proceeded to spend the following decades alternating between commercially oriented and underground-minded material, with varying results. While Kano has never had chart-topping hit singles like the other two, he's remained steadily popular, with all of his studio albums reaching the Top 50 of the U.K. albums chart, and he's stayed visible through frequent guest appearances (Gorillaz, Chase & Status, Lethal Bizzle) and acting roles. With 2016's Made in the Manor, his first album in six years, he refocused his energy and produced his most successful effort to date, becoming his first Top Ten-charting full-length and winning Best Album at the 2016 MOBO Awards. 2019's Hoodies All Summer is even sharper and more direct, casting off the populist tendencies of some of his earlier releases and emphasizing the emcee's aggressive, razor-sharp lyricism. Addressing problems such as inner-city violence, police brutality, and politicians' indifference to these issues, his words are frank and unsparing, yet he retains a sense of hope and levity throughout. While plenty of Kano's earlier songs were preoccupied with partying, here he references drinking and dancing as essential coping mechanisms for dealing with the ongoing struggle of city life, pledging to "pop ten bottles of escapism" on the Popcaan-featuring "Can't Hold We Down." Other songs such as "Trouble" and "SYM" (featuring the ludicrous taunt "suck your mother and die") are graced with choral vocals, gospel-tinged pianos, and even string arrangements, lending a strong sense of hope but never bogging things down with overwrought sentiments. The production, handled almost entirely by Blue May and Jodi Milliner, is consistently inventive, with jagged, abstract beat patterns befitting Kano's invigorated flows, occasionally breaking for relevant clips from news broadcasts and speeches. Longtime collaborators D Double E and Ghetts (who started out as members of the legendary N.A.S.T.Y. Crew along with Kano) show up and throw down on the brash, defiant "Class of Deja," filled with complex beats and crystalline melodies. Thoroughly inspired as well as creative, Hoodies All Summer is arguably the best work of Kano's career. ~ Paul Simpson
Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 4, 2016 | Parlophone UK
British grime MC Kano returns in 2016 with his fifth album, Made in the Manor, following 2010's Method to the Maadness. Released ten years after his debut, Kano proves that he hasn't lost his touch, with the lyrical content being just as barbed, albeit a little more personal this time around. There is a plethora of production talent backing him up, including tracks from Rustie, Fraser T Smith, Melé, and Swifta Beater. Kano is joined by Giggs and Wiley on the lead single "3 Wheels Up," JME on bonus track "Flow of the Year," and Damon Albarn on the piano-driven track "Deep Blues." ~ Liam Martin
News feed Prev. Next
Thu Qobuz | Highwomen: A Most Successful HeistTue Qobuz | Ashley Henry & The Night of The Vinyl HunterMon Qobuz | L'Epee: Live By The Sword, Jive By The Sword?
Sat Qobuz | Lower Dens' Fabulous RevoltWed Qobuz | Center Didn't Hold ...
Tue Qobuz | Sun Rings : The Overview Effect, In MusicMon Qobuz | Wallace Roney Celebrates The Jazz Youth
Fri Qobuz | Robert Randolph's Steely ResolveThu Qobuz | Taylor Swift Gets PoliticalWed Qobuz | Bombay Bicycle Club Is Open For Business