Between the release of his critically acclaimed sixth studio album Hoodies All Summer, the reprisal of his starring role in the celebrated cult TV series Top Boy, a Music Week cover story, and a U.K. tour that includes a sold out date at London's iconic Royal Albert Hall, British rapper and grime pioneer Kano is making some serious noise in 2019.
Hoodies All Summer was released on August 30 to rave reviews, from fans and critics alike. Called the "the album grime has been crying out for" by The Telegraph, which awarded the LP five out of five stars, it has been praised for its razor-sharp social commentary, evocative nostalgia, and accessibility. The Official Charts top 10 album was given top marks by Highsnobiety, an impressive 9.5 by The Line of Best Fit, as well as four out of five stars by both The Guardian and NME, and was named "one of the best MC-led projects of the year" by Complex. Poignant, yet celebratory, the project is "a powerful homage to the victims of a broken society" that "demonstrates music’s ability to mourn, heal, and ask important questions" — reinforcing Kano's status as one of "the U.K.’s most versatile, powerful artists" and serving as "a testament to how thrilling a lyricist" the "prodigious grime legend" is.
Two weeks after the album's release, Netflix made the long-awaited third season of British crime drama Top Boy available — ending a six year hiatus, following the show's untimely cancellation by U.K. TV network Channel 4. Revived by fan turned executive producer Drake, the series stars Kano as Sully — a hustler from the streets of East London, not far from where Kano grew up.
The tour kicked off at Scotland's historic Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on Wednesday, October 2, proceeding with sold out shows in Manchester, Birmingham, and Brighton through the weekend — followed by the Royal Albert Hall date on Monday, October 7, as well as several others across England and Wales in upcoming months. See the full run on Kano's website.
Photo: Olivia Rose