Kardinal Offishall : biography
Jason D. Harrow (born May 12, 1976),[ Kardinal Offishall > Overview] Allmusic. Accessed on November 16, 2009. better known by his stage name Kardinal Offishall , is a Canadian rapper and record producer. Often credited as Canada's "hip hop ambassador", he is considered one of the country's best hip hop producers, and is best known for his distinctive reggae and dancehall-influenced style of hip hop.[ Husslin' > Overview] Allmusic. Accessed on October 24, 2012.[ Kardinal Offishall > Biography] Allmusic. Accessed on October 24, 2012.
A native of Toronto, Offishall began his career in the city's mid-1990s underground hip hop scene, as a member of The Circle. Jam! Music. Accessed on October 22, 2012. He released several independent 12" singles, a debut album (Eye & I), and an EP (Husslin'), before signing with major label MCA Records in 2000. The following year, Offishall released his second album, Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol. 1, spawning the Billboard hit "BaKardi Slang", which popularized Toronto's nickname "T-dot", MSN. Accessed on October 22, 2012. and the minor hit "Ol' Time Killin'"; both singles became his signature songs. After failing to release the Firestarter Vol. 2 album in 2003, on MCA, and later Geffen Records (which absorbed MCA), Offishall briefly returned to the underground scene, releasing several more independent 12" singles.
In 2005, Offishall's third album, Fire and Glory, was released in Canada. That year, he collaborated with R&B singer Akon for the first time, starting a musical partnership that lasted until 2010. In 2007, he signed with Akon's Kon Live Distribution label, through Geffen, and released his fourth album, Not 4 Sale, the following year. The first single, "Dangerous", became a top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified triple platinum in Canada. Music Canada. Accessed on October 22, 2012. Offishall released two gold-certified singles, "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" and "Body Bounce", before leaving Kon Live in late 2010. Okayplayer. Accessed on October 22, 2012 The Come Up Show. Accessed on October 22, 2012. Since then, his latest singles have been released on independent label Black Stone Colleagues Inc. In 2012, Offishall released Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself, a collaborative mixtape with producer Nottz.
- 1999: Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year for Rascalz' "Northern Touch"
- 2000: Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year for producing Choclair's "Let's Ride"
- 2000: SOCAN Award for "Husslin'"
- 2001: MuchMusic Video Award - Best Rap Video for "Money Jane"
- 2002: SOCAN Award for "Money Jane"
- 2004: Canadian Urban Music Award for "Empty Barrel"
- 2006: 3 MuchMusic Video Awards - Best Video, Best Director (RT!) and VideoFACT Award for "Everyday (Rudebwoy)"
- 2009: Juno Award for Single of the Year for "Dangerous"; Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year for Not 4 Sale
- 2009: SOCAN Urban Music Award for "Dangerous"
- Eye & I (1997)
- Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol. 1 (2001)
- Fire and Glory (2005)
- Not 4 Sale (2008)
- Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself (with Nottz) (2012)
Early life and career beginnings
Harrow was born in Scarborough, Ontario, in Toronto's east end, and raised by Jamaican immigrant parents. From the ages of 2 to 13, he lived in the city's Flemingdon Park neighbourhood. He moved back to Scarborough for two years, before finally settling in Oakwood–Vaughan, in the city's west end. HipHopCanada. Accessed on January 22, 2011. CHARTattack. Accessed on January 22, 2011. While in high school, he would throw parties at the Alexandra Park Community Centre. He also is a former York University student but did not complete his degree.
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