Kano is absolutely one of the undisputed GOATs of the game.
Over the course of his career – which spans well over a decade – he has provided some of the most iconic songs our scene has produced (“Ps & Qs”, “GarageSkankFREESTYLE”) as well as linking up with every icon you can think of (JME, Ghetts, Wiley, Vybz Kartel, Craig David, Giggs…) and provided slow jams for days (“Nite Nite”, “Brown Eyes”).
That’s not even to mention his starring role in Top Boy and being nominated for the 2016 Mercury Prize and at this year’s Brits.
So today, on KA’s 32nd birthday, take the time out of your usual playlists to spin these five career-defining offerings from the East Ham boy.
“Boys Love Girls”
Kano’s first offering into the world was this tongue twister of an ode to the complicated relationship between men and women. This is the track that, thanks to its popularity on Déjà would lead to Kano joining N.A.S.T.Y. crew.
“Signs In Life”
An underrated banger from Home Sweet Home, “Signs in Life” is a sinister joint that would symbolise the beginning of Kano’s complex and unique retelling of life on the road.
“My & My Microphone”
Joining forces with Kate Nash and long time collaborator Fraser T Smith on this summery track, “Me & My Microphone” is a step away from the brutal realism that KA’s music is known for and instead an upbeat tribute to the golden age of hip-hop – the 90s.
This song may not actually be accurate, because every time this writer has seen it performed live it’s received way more than just three wheel-ups. The 2016 banger became the unofficial lead single from Kano’s Mercury Prize nominated album Made in the Manor, and featured not one but two scene originators – Wiley and Giggs.
“A Roadman’s Hymn”
An album track from MITM, this one may not receive the live treatment at every show, but when it does make an appearance it’s a movie. By humanising the roadman, Kano is showcasing his life long love story with the road on this heart wrenching yet uplifting joint.
Happy birthday from everyone at the GRM team, Kano!