Grime fans from the early days (i.e. 2003-5) have been watching aghast, mostly, at many of their MC heroes jumping ship to cheesy electro-pop. It has been a very succesfull transformation of grime’s fortunes, but it has also marked the economic failure of the UK’s most exciting musical scene of the last decade. One MC who has been holding out on crass crossover success, has been Kano. Which is a little bit surprising, as he seemed to hold the most commercial promise back in the day. Kano’s style as a rapper is crispy clear, ready for mass consumption even on his debut solo single, “Vice Versa (Boys Love Girls)” (2003).
I’m not sure if “Get Wild” is going to bring Kano the level of succes that some of his peers (Dizzee Rascal, Tinchy Stryder, Tinie Tempah, Roll Deep, Wiley) have been enjoying. If it’s any consolation, it is a better record than any of these people have been putting out lately. “Get Wild” is taken from Kano’s forthcoming (30 August) fourth album, Method to the Maadness. It’s #nowplaying on our electro playlist.
Instead of looking at the Euro holiday dancefloor, “Get Wild” has its eyes set on Jamaica, the land of Kano’s grandparents. The track is produced by German techno producer Boys Noize, another surpising turn, and features dancehall MC Aidonia and another (former?) grime giant, Wiley. Together, the four of them mesh up their influences into a striking, high calibre track that promises well for Method to the Madness. The album will also feature collaborations with Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) and drum ‘n bass duo Chase & Status (both of whom have worked with Kano before), as well as synth-pop group Hot Chip.
Kano’s branching out as much as anybody. But he’s doing it with style.