From the depths of East London, “Puppets and Strings” marks the long overdue return of Kano, arguably one of the UK’s most revered hip-hop artists of all time. Away from rap, K-A has had a busy year playing Sully in the second series the of the hugely successful Channel 4 drama Top Boy, even making a cameo appearance in a Mercedes Benz advertisement. Each of these appearances will have left every Kano fan wondering when we’d hear him do what he does best and get back in the booth; a collective sigh of relief can now be breathed as he does just that – and what a banger it is.
Upon dropping this one a few hours ago, he tweeted, "New music, no reason, just coz." This alone would suggest that there are a few things he wanted to get off his chest, and that is exactly what he does. From start to finish, the track is a frank assessment of his career, from his humble beginnings as the "poster boy in this grime shit" to the indifference that came with the commercial success of tracks like “This is The Girl”, songs that ultimately lead to a disillusionment with the music industry and the struggle to keep keep his identity amongst it all.
Still, you can never keep a real MC down; over some huge production on the part of The Zombie Kids, the Grime Street pioneer goes as he did when he first exploded onto the scene with “P’s & Q’s”. Don’t be fooled by the track's slow start. He speeds up the flow and comprehensively obliterates the last verse, showcasing the same defiant ability that sent the U.K scene into frenzy a decade ago.
For now Kano’s back, for how long we don’t know for sure. As for an album or mixtape, all we can do is hope – for the time being, anyway. Until further notice, you can stream and download “Puppets and Strings” below via his SoundCloud.