- 11:57 AM, Jun 24
Born as Jason Harrow on May 21, 1976 in Scarborough, Ontario, Kardinal Offishall built an impressive portfolio of international production and recording credits. He started rapping early and was winning competitions when he was 12. Signed to Canadian Warner/Chappell Music at the age of 20, he blended his music into soul, dance hall, reggae, and hip-hop.
In 1997, he explored his musical talent by releasing a debut album called "Eye & I" via MCA Records. Unfortunately, the record, which carry as many as 20 songs, only sold 8,982 copies in its first week release. The disappointing sale of his first album didn't make Kardinal give up his music career. Instead, he was working harder.
In 2000, he was back to the recording room to work on another album entitled "Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol. 1". The album helped him solidifying his importance in Canadian fast-growing urban music scene as he earned his first awards from Canadian society of composers, authors, and music producers with first single "Hustle". Another significant single which marked his fame was a Sean Paul-featuring single "Money Jane" from which he won at 2001 MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVAs) for best rap video.
With his success, Kardinal was then requested to appear on the remix of The Neptunes's smash hit "Grindin'' with Clipse. The remix, which was well received across North America and particularly in New York City, increased the anticipation of his next record. Eager for the next level, he started recording a new album titled "Firestarter Vol. 2: F Word Theory". However, the album was shelved after MCA was folded and he lost a priority release for his album. Refusing to step back from music, in 2004, he released a mix tape "Kill Bloodclott Bill" via his independent label, Black Jays.
After settling a deal with Virgin/EMI Records in 2005, a follow-up album for his major album "Quest for Fire" was finally dropped to the market under the title of "Fire and Glory". Hit singles, such as "Heads Up", "Feel Alright", "Everyday (Rudebwoy)" received a heavy airplay on Canadian radios and he continued to draw public attention when he won three MMVAs prizes, including best director for "Everyday (Rudebwoy)".
In 2008, Kardinal, who was best known for his unique songwriting, was signed to Akon's Konvict Muzik and worked on new album "Not 4 Sale". Some of the materials in the album was previewed to his fans