Grime may now be one of our best British exports, but a decade before Kanye, Drake and the rest of the world decided to get on board, Kane Robinson, aka Kano, was already writing 'kick lines', 'hit lines' and 'deep rhymes'. Making his name with early classics like P's & Q’s, and softer, introspective tracks like Nite Nite (as well an acclaimed acting turn in Channel 4’s Top Boy), this year Kano is back with his fifth album, Made In The Manor, and a Mercury Prize nomination. Here’s what happened when we put some (Ps &) Qs to the man himself.
Kano's style file
By Kasia Hastings, 15 September 2016
What trainers are you into?
I like Yeezys, adidas Ultra Boosts... I’m into running trainers at the moment.
How many pairs of trainers do you own?
I don’t know any more – before I moved house [it was] well into the hundreds, maybe into the four-hundreds. I’ve got to meet J2K, the rapper [from Roll Deep] behind Crep Protect, to chat about a charity thing to auction all the trainers I don’t wear. I rotate between my Yeezys, my Ultra Boosts, and the others, but I was wearing Timberlands yesterday, so...
What was your style like in the garage days?
I was too young for the big boy clubs, but I used to roll with my older brother. Sometimes I got in, sometimes not. We’d dress up: shirts, trousers, Gucci loafers with no socks.
Grime style is built more on comfortable cuts like tracksuits and trainers. Do you have any particular favourites?
I had a white Akademiks tracksuit, and I used to wear it with cream Pradas, but I think that’s long gone. The first time I went to Glastonbury, I didn’t really know what it was, and I wore a white tracksuit and fresh white Stan Smiths... I had to get my mate to give me a piggy back to the stage.
Who kills it style-wise?
Rihanna always looks good. I like Rihanna.
Talk to us about the grime scene right now.
Going back years and years, people were trying to impress Americans so much, to the point where they were almost trying to be American. Now it feels like, in a weird way, we have our own identity. I think it’s an exciting time. I’m loving Little Simz; I think Ghetts is smashing it; Giggs had a fantastic year – I can’t wait to see what he puts out next. Stormzy's always sounding good.