Meet 19-year-old Kane 'Kano' Robinson: garage's lyricist laureate, the MC's MC, the street poet who knows it, a pirate frequency all of his own amid the scramble of the national garage airspace. A key member in East London's reigning N.A.S.T.Y. Crew, he has talent, credibility and vision coming out of his pores.
At 16, when he was still looking up to D Double E, the one-man garage industry who heads up eastside contenders N.A.S.T.Y Crew, he delivered 'Boys Love Girls' - a treatise on the politics of the sexual playground expressed in the language the playground best understands. As Dizzee's 'I Luv U' and Wiley's chilly 'Igloo' and 'Ice Rink' single were standardising UK garage's next genetic strain, the wavering melody lines and panic-button riddim of 'Boys Love Girls' gained a steady footing on the underground.
At Mike Skinner's personal request Kano has been busy working with The Mitchell Brothers, a pair of East London MCs championed and produced by The Streets. Along with D Double E and Lethal B, Kano recently detonated an evening of East London style over in Berlin. 'No one knew us over there but we got them hyped 'cause we were enjoying it ourselves. That's the key - to enjoy it yourself. If I was at a rave and saw people on stage not really having a good time, not giving it their all, I wouldn't I give it my all.'
Kano's game plan is clear - he's enjoying himself, and it's a safe bet a spin of 'Ps & Qs' or new 'Typical Me' will mean you will too. It may be a long way off, but if The Streets-style fame comes knocking on his door, Kano's tactics would be true to his rectitude.
'Fame would piss me off, I reckon,' he concludes. 'I bet Mike wishes he could sell as many records but not be so famous. Your face is just blatant and everyone knows who you are. It must be a nightmare. I'd probably stay indoors a lot. Some people get into this for the fame. I don't. I just want to do it for the music.'