“THE RULER’S BACK”
Grime scene legend Kano dropped ‘Made in the Manor’ digitally on the 4th of March, with the physical copy to follow on the 11th (pre-ordered @ In-Reach of course), and it’s everything we could’ve asked for.
If you know me then you know I’ve always rated Kano as one of the greatest Grime artists of all time, so it’ll come as no surprise when it all turns out to be acclaim on his behalf. However after a long but worthwhile six-year wait, ‘Made in the Manor’ is undoubtedly outstanding enough to stand up there on the record shelf with the likes of ‘Microphone Champion’ and ‘Boy in da Corner’, and if you think otherwise, we’re sorry, you’re just wrong.
Back at the start of the year we heard the banger ‘3 Wheel-Ups’ (feat. Giggs) played on sets all over the U.K. after it was successfully pre-released as a single. If you’re into your Grime and you’ve not been living under a rock for the last two months, you must’ve heard it. Characterised by the New-Orleans-style jazz-players infront of a backdrop of run-down parts of East London, it’s gully enough to get you hyped but catchy enough to get radio playtime.
One of my favourite aspects of the album is the extensive British referencing he uses, especially in the track ‘This is England’ where he mentions jellied eels, Reggie Kray, polo tops and ASBOs, then the breakdown:
Its not a hip-hop party without a butt twerk
Its not a real rap song without a cuss word
Its not a house party without a shuffle
Its not a garage rave without champagne
There’s no other country where that break, particularly the second half, would even make sense. That’s what I love most about this album; it’s new and innovative, fronting the grime revival but retaining the old 90s vibes that Grime originated from, and Kano with it.
The extent of Kano’s versatility is exhibited in the first track ‘Hail’ which sees jumpy lyrics over an unconventional electric guitar riff before briefly taking the beat down for an acapella and finally bringing ‘CD Is Dead’ in as a backing sample to finish it off. The mix between classic London slang and Kano’s unmistakably grimy edge creates a dynamic that would sound artificial from most other artists in the scene. Two of my favourite examples of this in the album are “WHOOO ARE YA? Bet you’ve heard of us.” and “All this gangsta shit, who wants to sleep with the fishes? Penny for your thoughts and they’ll try and make you split it.” As you can see (and as you will hear), he manages to be both cutting and humorous throughout the album.
There are some fully cold tracks on the album too, particularly ‘Little Sis’ and ‘Strangers’ which are necessary for any well-rounded album, and are balanced nicely by the two bonus tracks ‘Flow of the Year’ (feat. JME) and ‘Garage Skank’, which are definitely both nods to the old-school fans, appreciated brudda, had a few of these tunes literally on repeat over the past week.
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