Hip hop artist, Kano, is one of the UK grime scene’s godfathers. He’s had hits such as ‘Typical Me’ and ‘This is the Girl’, and has appeared on albums by Chase & Status, Gorillaz and many more. Made in the Manor is his fifth album, and pulls no punches in reaffirming the MC’s greatness.
This album comes six years after his last studio record, Method to the Maadness. A lengthy wait for sure, but Kano has pushed through his trials to deliver a phenomenal hip hop album that’s distinctly black and British.
On opening track ‘Hail’ alone, Kano spits rhymes faster, witter and with a broader set of inflections than some MCs manage in their whole careers. There’s plenty of bravado, but there’s heart, too, especially in ‘Deep Blues (feat. Damon Albarn)’ and ‘Little Sis’, and the latter will hit hard if you’ve ever felt guilty about not being with siblings or cousins enough. And nowhere else in the world will you find a song that references hip hop clashes, football and Peppa Pig in the same song (‘3 Wheels-Up (feat. Wiley & Giggs)’).
An east London native, Kano has been reppin’ my ends long time, so I can’t help but feel good about his shrewd commentary on London life. Still, even without my admiration for his music, you’d be hard pressed to find an album that captures a collage of modern London with verses as descriptive (‘Endz’) and accurate (‘This is England’) as this. Presenting more sides of black British culture with witty lyricism and rave-ready beats, Kano has pushed his sound forwards in spectacular fashion.
Made in the Manor is out now on Parlophone Records.
Have you listened to this album? If so, what did you think of it? Tweet me @aarnlee.