Album Review: Kano – Hoodies All Summer

Kano is back with another album! In terms of UK greats when it comes to grime, Kano is considered one of the best we have. Personally, Kano is one of my favourite MC’s, he has a unique personality he lets out with his raps that make some of his lyrics unforgettable. Kano has been consistent with his hits and for someone who has literally been around for most of my childhood, to continuously release high quality music is a talent in itself. His delivery is so clear cut and for me, his clarity is one of the best things about him. I’ve picked some songs from the album that really stood out to me. Overall, the album for me is one of the best to come out of the UK this year. The replay value on this album is definitely high and I’m so happy Kano is back showing us how great he is. Have a read below.

Free Years Later:

The first track on the album is called “Free Years Later” and what an intro it is. The song gives us an insight on how Kano has felt in his life and how he has dealt with his success. He uses a lot of juxta positioning; “Waking from dreams, chasing my fears” and hints to the struggle he may have faced being successful; “Success brings more stress”. Another topic Kano talks about in this song is the effects of racism among black people. Kano even makes a mention to British rapper Stormzy in the second verse; “Babylon boy, look how they raided Stormzy”, referring to the time the British Police raided Stormzy’s house. Kano makes it known that even though some black artists have escaped their hardships and tough upbringings, they are still the topic of discrimination and racism. For me one of the standout lines in this song is when Kano says, “Lethal laughing to the Coutts account, now you approve of Pow”. It’s only now that Lethal B is making enough money to open a prestigious account that some people are starting to take him seriously. This is the idea that Black people must work twice as hard just to be treated like anyone else. Kano ends the verse with; “What D Double did for me, I just do for the youts” demonstrating the passing of the baton that is very evident in music. Kano is paying respect and homage to those before him and is aware that he has to carry on the torch for those after him.

Good Youtes Walk Amongst Evil

From the first few second of this song I could hear the grime straight away. The grime beat is crazy on this song and the pace matched Kano perfectly!!! On the chorus he says “Work so hard, we’re dying for a living for clothes and the cars” and that couldn’t be a real r statement. I feel this song relates to life. Everyone is just going along with the flow. For me the beat is what sells this record.

Trouble

This was one of the songs Kano had previously released as a single. The video is so creative too. Kano also takes on a softer approach as he sings a bit of the verses in this song. In this song, he explains to people the consequences of living in the “hood”. The interlude of the 999 call breaks up the song and makes it more real. For me I fee it is a direct example of life. When you think everything is going smoothly, something can just throw you off. In the hood, Kano is trying to show that life is not straight forward and nothing is safe. After this break, Kano begins to rap about the success from making it out of the hood, he mentions his friends and some well known fellow rappers; “Ghetts ain’t looked back since we blessed them stages”. I like the rawness of this track and it’s one of those songs you can vibe to as it’s slower paced. Kano gets out his message very clearly and you are almost reminded of the hardships he has had to face earlier on in his life.

Can’t Hold We Down Ft. Popcaan

This song brings out Kano’s Caribbean side out and I like that. I personally liked this song as it was a little different feel to the usual Kano song while still keeping his uniqueness. For me the line “All black Range Rover, all black women, I bet the Daily Mail wan’ photoshop a spliff in” mad me laugh. This is a reference to the fact stereotypically Black stars are usually portrayed negatively in the UK newspaper publication. Popcaan offers a nice relief and a dancehall sound to this song which is refreshing. Kano references his rapper friends again showing the genuine friendship they all have. I particularly like the outro as Popcaan and Kano vibes off eachother. Kano is so good at going back and forth with other artists as we see him regularly do with Ghetts and Giggs. Kano raps; “Fly guys summer (Hey) sent the kids out the ends (Hey, hey), but you can’t take the ends out the kid” reminding us that he remembers where he comes from and will always rep. I will definitely be replaying this song.

Got My Brandy, Got My Beats Ft. Lil Silva

This is the most emotional song on the album and I like the fact it’s towards the end. This song is definitely a love/heartbreak song. I get the impression it’s the facing of reality when you’re no longer with someone and trying to adjust with them not being in you’re life anymore. The beat on this song is minimalistic but somehow you can feel the exact pain and passion exuding from the lyrics. One of the lyrics that stand out for me; “So many lessons in love can’t be taught without the breaking of hearts“. For me this means that sometimes you have to suffer or go through pain in order to learn the most important lessons. Kano does sing “Don’t be sad for me, still got my brandy and my beats“, I like vulnerability of these lines. Kano is able to fine solace in the simplest pleasures despite all his wealth and freedom.

Class of Deja Ft. D Double E & Ghetts

Another song from the album that bad been previously been released as a single. This song is literally a combination of some of the UK’s BEST grime MC’S. This is one of those songs that would be amazing to watch live. The song reminds me of the old battle raps/cyphers people used to do. The wordplay in this song from the MC’S is incredible, there are too many bars to even pin point.

SYM

Another one of my favourite songs on the album and the perfect outro to a wonderful and memorable album. The song for me is aimed at everyone. It’s aimed at the ignorant people that believe that some Black men enjoy crime; “If you think niggas just love these drugs and crime“. It is also aimed at those black men that are getting money and doing good things; “Get your paper but you don’t get complacent, If we don’t hold each other down, we won’t make it”. This serves as a reminder that we are all in this together.

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#NewMusicFriday/What I’ve been listening to…

Apologies for the wait for a new post from me! There has been so much new music out in the past few weeks! I love this time of year as the “summer hits” die down and we start getting album releases and EP’s as the concert season starts again. I will be doing a few album reviews soon but for now here are some songs I’ve been playing on repeat…

Casanova Ft. Chris Brown – Coming Home

I don’t even know where to begin with this track. Firstly can we talk about the fact the sample is from one of the best songs from Case and Joe released almost 11 years ago! The original song was called ‘Faded Pictures. As soon as I heard Casonova’s song I knew where the inspiration was from instantly. A slow jam classic. Casanova and Chris did the sample justice and this new version is great! As usual Chris Brown kills every single feature he hops on and amazes us every song with his vocal ability. This song has been on repeat since I heard it. Have a listen below and have a listen to the original;

Yo Trane – Waves

I am SOOOOOO excited about this new release!!!!! I am a BIG fan of Yo Trane. His ‘Late Night Drive’ EP is one of my favourite R&B projects in the past 3 years. His music makes me feel every emotion possible and his production is always so complimentary to the song. I think he is one of the few artists that could release a project of all his instrumentals and I would still have it on repeat. I really hope this is the first of more new music this year released from Yo Trane. I’m really hoping he drops another project soon too. R&B can be played all year but in summer it is appreciated even more. Have a listen below;

Pusha T Ft. Lauryn Hill – Coming Home

Hearing Lauryn Hill on a song will always make me feel some kind of nostalgia. I really enjoy Pusha T and Lauryn on this track and after hearing the song was recorded in late 2015 I can hear why. I like the sentiment behind the song with the idea that love is the answer to so many questions. Lauryn sings; “When love is gone, you hold onto anything, some do wrong, just to feel anything but when the void is filled, you stand up to anything“. The words remind of the song by the Black Eyed Peas called “Where is the Love?”. Pusha also addresses the idea that Black people have had good activists that have stood up for them in the past. He also addresses the idea that Crack Cocaine was initially sold to Black gangs to benefit and profit the US government however it started an internal rivalry between Black gangs. Have a listen below;

KYLE Ft. Teyana Taylor – F You I Love You.

I heard this song at an event last week and added it straight to my playlist. It’s one of those songs perfect to play in the background when you want to chill. I actually had to shazam the song as I did not recognise Kyle’s voice. I will be checking out his other music as I like the tone of his voice. In this song he is able to sing along and find a way to sing with the deepest tone in the same sentence. Of course Teyana sounds perfect in this song as she is able to demonstrate her talent through her wonderful and unique voice. Have a listen below;

Aitch Ft MoStack & Steel Banglez – Weekday

Man of the hour Aitch has released his anticipated second EP today, Friday 6th of September. I have not listened to the whole tape properly and digested it all however this is one of those songs that grab you from the first listen. I knew from the lineup that I would be a fan as Mo Stack an Steel Banglez rarely make a bad song. As usual Mo Stack uses his cheekiness to provide us with a memorable phrase. He says;

She said “Men are trash”, I said “Yeah, that’s true”
But you’re the company you keep and I’m chillin’ here wid you
So what does that make you?

Classic Mo cheekiness!!! ha!

The song is quite slowed down which if you’ve heard many of Aitch’s recent music, is a nice change. I think this will be a fan favourite. Have a listen below;

Blade Brown Ft. K TrapJoints

This is my favourite song from the Blade Brown project. Such a hyped up song! Have a listen below;

Stay tuned for my next album review post…