A clip of Kano's recent visit to BBC Radio 1 Xtra comes with the best kind of warning: "This video contains the strongest possible language." After that, the Charlie Sloth cues up a sweet soul sample, and Kano strings together thorny strings of syllables for nearly eight minutes.
At times, his delivery is gentle and conversational; a few bars later, he'll drill into syllables with the force of sledgehammer. His verses include references to Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand The Rain"—or possibly Missy Elliott's "The Rain," which sampled Peebles' track—50 Cent's "Many Men," and Drake's "Know Yourself." Kano brings the whole display of virtuosity home with a flourish, staking a claim to the top spot in the "Fire In The Booth" universe: I'm Mr. Everyone-went-right-I-took-the-left/ Now whose is best, me or Wretch?
The MC recently released a new album titled Made In The Manor. Stormzy plugged the record on social media, writing "Big big up on a sick body of work... I remember @Wretch32 saying to me '@TheRealKano was the best before we even knew what the best was.'" Sloth also calls the the album "a masterpiece." Listen below.