In the last two years the music industry has seen the dramatic growth of MCA recording artist Kardinal Offishall. His 2001 release "Firestarter Vol.1: Quest for Fire" showcased Kardinalís unique writing and production skills. Quest for Fire introduced the world to the T dot (Toronto) sound, which included a collaboration with Epic recording artist, and fellow Toronto native, Glenn Lewis.
The strategy of the project was for MCA to license and then release some older Kardinal material to use as a tool to familiarize consumers with the name Kardinal Offishall. What MCA received was an overwhelming response from radio and club DJs wanting to know more about this artist and his music. There was also immediate evidence of the establishment of a significant fan base. There was so much interest in Kardinal in fact, MCA decided to release two videos in support of the two hit singles.
The first single, "Bakardi Slang" depicted life in T dot and was an instant hit in Toronto. Bakardi Slang also became an international hit, as Kardinal witnessed while touring the U.S. and Europe. The impact of "Bakardi Slang" became fully evident when superstar reggae artist Bounty Killer (No Doubt, Swizz Beats) approached Kardinal about appearing on a remix of "Bakardi Slang" because of its huge popularity in Bountyís native Jamaica.
The second single "Ole Time" received an even larger response than that of "Bakardi Slang". The video achieved a significant run on BET and was in heavy rotation on MuchMusic. "Ole Time" immediately struck a chord with Kardinal fans. Radio and video program directors were inundated with requests for the Kardinal offering. "Ole Time" caught the attention of multi-platinum selling recording artist Busta Rhymes and solidified him as a Kardinal fan. Busta offered to collaborate on the remix of Ole Time, and the result was another hit remix.
Kardinal has changed many preconceived notions of what a hip hop artist is. He doesnít hail from New York, L.A., or Atlanta; he embraces his Toronto/Jamaican heritage. He is the unofficial ambassador of Toronto. As his newly adopted moniker, Living History, suggests, he is creating history with both the music he creates, and the responses garnered from it. "Quest for Fire" prompted several requests for work from several industry heavyweights.
A-List producers, The Neptunes (Britney Spears, N-SYNC, Jay-Z), requested Kardinal appear on the remix to their smash hit production "Grindin". The remix was well received across North America, particularly in NYC. The buzz from the "Grindin" remix has increased the anticipation of the next Kardinal Offishall release "Firestarter vol.2: The F-Word Therory" (Summer 2003).
The growth of Kardinal as a musician is clearly demonstrated on the F-Word Theory. His writing and production have improved and his musical sensibilities aid in creating a very distinctive sound. F-Word Theory includes collaborations with various artists including Busta Rhymes, Bounty Killer, Pharaoh Monche, Renee (formerly of Zhane), Nicole Wray, and E3. F-Word Theory also includes production contributions from various producers, most notably Timbaland (Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Ludacris) and the Neptunes. Other contributing producers include Scratch (Busta Rhymes, Red Man, Method Man), Nottz (Snoop Dogg, Flip Mode, M.O.P.), and Kardinal Offishall (Choclair, Saukrates, Kardinal Offishall).
Kardinalís fans, club and radio DJs, and many industry insiders all see the tremendous star power that Kardinal possesses. F-Word Theory has all of the ingredients necessary to act as a catalyst for the final stage of growth: Superstardom.