Credit where it's due, and at least Kano is still going, unlike his former label who've made a few changes. He's even restored some credibility with the release of 140 Grime Street, which was a good CD that couldn't even be dragged down by the inclusion of Soldier. It's no coincidence that the big names uniting on the album resulted in its best three tracks. In this context, Soldier didn't matter.
Kano has given a lot to the scene this year. His return has proved a catalyst for grime's biggest names to stop slyly looking at each other's myspaces and actually work together. Wiley, Skepta and Chipmunk enjoyed a trip to Radio 1's Big Weekend in Maidstone and, by jumping out of the woodwork and delivering the P's & Q's bars, the Garden of England bloomed into life. Kano officially marked his return.
The Provincial Pleasures of Maidstone High Street
However, it was surpassed by the concert at the 02 Arena, and 'The Greatest Grime Show On Earth' exorcised the demons of the place once being the Millenium Dome and just a big waste of money. The general unity is reflected currently; Wiley and Ghetts proudly place one another in their Myspace top friends, a sure sign of affinity, and one that quashes the two's temper-tantrums about vocalling Rude Kid's The Best earlier this year, not to mention bigger battles in the more distant past.
Kano's return has also made Skepta and Ghetts peculiarly pally, and the two both featured on Logan Sama's 140 Grime Street show, one of my favourite sets this year. Skeppy's allegations of Ghetts sending for him 'every two minutes' were replaced by interchanges of 'buss one' and 'god forgive me', a lovely moment as well as proof that Skepta must have listened to the CD before he threw it in the bin. He's recently shown signs of normality, relapsing into a few old words for Ghetto on Westwood, but there's still the impression that progress has been made.
'Politics', and the scene's best talent not combining often enough, has been to grime's detriment in recent times. Maybe things are changing.