Kano - Hoodies All Summer album review
Kano wields a poignant blade of social commentary and slices sharp as ever with his undeniable delivery on the strongly crafted Hoodies All Summer.
Replay Value8.5
8.7Overall Score
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A true premier London MC with a deft lyrical touch, Kano returns three years from his Mercury prize shortlisted project Made in the Manor to make a bang with his suitably mature brand of consciousness, and societal awareness.

One thing that really makes Kano stand out when you label him a grime artist, is the themes and content he addresses – grime is not usually a genre where you’ll find societal issues chopped up and torn down as prominently as he does, especially not with the maturity and buoyancy KA delivers.

It is the maturity flaunted throughout Hoodies All Summer that sets this album apart – you can see how the project builds on the more conscious and raw approach heralded on Made in the Manor to add a significant depth often bereft in the world of grime. The project strides forward with a purpose and does not fail to captivate as the momentum builds across the ten tracks with it’s vigorous tenacity conducted greatly by Kano painting pained pictures of troubling and all too honest urban realities.

Musically, Hoodies All Summer benefits from a viscerally executed mixture of dancehall elements (so it’s rather fitting to see Popcaan pop up on Can’t Hold We Down), a firm grime temperament that is typified in Kano’s rip roaring flow that is just as evident on album opener Free Years Later as his vocals grow in anger as the track develops, as it is on the more sentimental Got My Brandy, Got My Beats and of course the raptastic Class of Deja with D Double E and Ghetts. Continuing the soundscape opted for and bolstering Made in the Manor, Hoodies All Summer gains largely from theĀ  band and choir component that adds a touch of finesse and class.

There is a real urgency to Kano’s delivery as he spills out raw emotionality on the page. While he drops a mass amount of truths and addresses constant urban pressures, at no point does the project feel too ‘preachy’ which is often exactly how an album of this nature can end up. Balancing the significant content with entertaining production and his frenetic flows ensure that every word sinks in – so as a record it really works on multiple levels.

Kano is an artist that finds this balance between the hype, ‘thug’ type bangers and real life elements with raising ever-present societal concerns phenomenally, and this is perhaps the most apt description one can give to Hoodies All Summer. As if it wasn’t already firmly established, Kano sets himself apart as one of the UK’s elite rappers.

Despite how deep the majority of the content Hoodies All Summer presents is, a certain lightheartedness runs through the course of the project and nowhere is this more obvious than the candid album ending track SYM, where Kano has enlisted a soothing choir to emphatically tell you to ‘suck your mum’. The finale of this track – following a visceral build up – and the project, concludes with the prevailing sentiment present on each track and it is delivered with a succinct power: “If we don’t hold each other down we won’t make it”.

Rap is poetry, and Kano is living proof.

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