“We have complained to police about the police and nothing’s been done,
We have complained to judges about judges and nothing’s been done,
Now it’s time to do something ourselves.”
Riding off the back of one of the greatest grime albums of all time you could be forgiven for wondering if Kano would keep up the quality on this his sixth album ‘Hoodies all summer’. However, from the confident opening swell of strings it’s pretty obvious he’s still completely at the top of his game.
Once again he’s changed his style with little of the upfront bangers he’s made his name on that made up a good portion of his previous record. Cinematic is a word that instantly comes to mind, with gorgeous instrumentals chopped and skewed around the still ever present beats.
It’s easier to see much of the record as a progression on the softer songs of the last record. Along side this more reflective tone there is an awareness of modern styles within urban music that is impressive considering his almost elder statesman place.
Lyrically he seems in a reflective mood, commenting on his place within the scene and giving shout outs to the new generation such as Stormzy. It seems very fitting when he makes a reference to D Double E’s influence over his own career early in the record when the man turns up himself with Ghetts on the storming standout “Class of Deja”. On a live performance of the track on Radio 1’s live lounge the joy of the three artists to still be working together years later is plain to see. Special mention also goes to the track Teardrops which gifts the record it’s title, a heartfelt tale of Kano’s place within his community and reflection of modern race politics.
Despite all this he still finds for a bit of humour in the closing “SYM”, a cheeky hook forms the backbone of a takedown of those who remove the role of class from the social conditions of black youth. Between this album and the return of his character Sully to Netflix, it’s clear Kano is still Top Boy.