Mixtape Review: Kano – Jack Bauer: The 7 Day Edition

It’s hard to fathom that Kano has graced the music scene for well over seven years now. An underground artist whose sound has remained grounded in the murkier Grime sounds, even when experimenting music’s most influential figures, his successes have been one of the more ‘genuine’ triumphs.

As he returns back to the format which requires no chart single, superstar cameo or formula, the east London dynamo is in the perfect zone for his verbal assassination of varied beats. Whilst 24’s Jack Bauer may delve into situations much deeper than offering a fresh 64 bars, can The 7 Day Edition overcome the obstacle of appeasing to those who feel his best days are past?

As mentioned earlier, Kano enters the mixtape arena, which gives him the freedom to avert from choruses and song structures to focus solely on lyrical displays. And the man does so from the get-go as the dirty, Sweeny Todd inspired “You Are Young” gives Kano the beat for him to let rip with ferocity.

I’m the bizness, and I’m the Illest spitter innit?/ They just say it but I live it,
/Call me OJ, cuz I did it/ I go Hard like I was Willis/ but I don’t but Die and I don’t lie/ I don’t hype what I don’t like…

Not content with merely duppying new beats, K-A continues mixtape tradition of jacking popular US beats and tearing a new one into them, such as on Drake’s “Over”, Kid CuDi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” and most notably on the Snoop Dogg “I Wanna Rock” (which has been destroyed by every artist except Snoop himself).  Kano also is one of the few emcees to give a lasting performance on Tinie Tempah’s number one single “Pass Out”, where Kano’s switching of styles and light humour ensure it’s a memorable appearance on the excessively used instrumental.

Kano’s latest mixtape showcases not only Kano’s penchant for delivering fresh bars, but also uses it to showcase his diverse flows on the varied tracks. Jack Bauer overcomes two of the biggest obstacles which mixtapes fall under as Kano’s lyricism remains sharp and his beat choices fit appropriately to his changes in flow (which gets tedious at times).

As many Kano fans dream of a 15 track album of hardcore spitting over zoned out, grim productions, Kano’s aspirations may lie elsewhere.  But what is for sure is that none of the key attributes which elevated Kano to such heights has been lost.

–Henry Yanney

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