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There's a refreshing sense of originality to Kardinal Offishall's approach to hip-hop as Fire: Firestarter, Vol 1 proves. Unlike many of his Canadian rap contemporaries--Choclair and the Rascalz, for example--Kardinal makes no attempt to sound like he's from the wilds of Brooklyn, Queens, or Atlanta instead of his native Toronto. In fact, he's one of the few Canadian MCs who makes Toronto's unique cultural mash-up an integral part of his sound.
Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol. 1 is as much a dancehall reggae album as a hip-hop record, with Kardinal bringing out his West Indian background on roots thumpers like "Ol' Time Killin'" and "Go Ahead Den". Handling most of the album's production himself, the rough-voiced MC also veers into R&B on "Powerful," comedy on "UR Ghetto 2002," racial politics on the stirring "Man by Choice," and hip-hop pop on "Husslin'". And for those not familiar with the T-Dot, Kardinal also breaks down Toronto hip-hop lingo on the anthemic "BaKardi Slang". It's slick, but not in a cloying, saccharine way. While Kardinal's obviously shooting for international attention, that's not coming at the expense of his original sound. An impressive debut for an artist who has come to define Canadian hip-hop. --Matt Galloway --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Wow, Kardinal is better then most american rappers. His multi-culteral (reggae) flow is one of the most original since Rakim. This debut album is one of my favourites. Read morePublished on March 24 2006 by Hip-Hop Head
Kardinal is a Jamaican-Canadian from Toronto, who mixes regae and dancehall beats with rap. Sounds a lil too much for you probably, but trust me its as good as any CD you will... Read morePublished on May 6 2003
Kardinal is rockin' the party! This album is probably one of the most creative Hip Hop albums I've ever heard! A mix of every category of Urban music! Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2002
this album was so dope. Im from LA so there arent alot of rappers that would bring in a sound like this and get away with it. He brings in dancehall and hip hop at the same time. Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2002
I'm so sick and tired of hearing the usual ish like Noreaga, Master P, etc. Guys who get by on dope beats with wack lyrics. Read morePublished on July 26 2002 by Jason
Let me just start off by saying that I am not a rap hip-hop fan. My music is more of Korn, Rage Against the Machine,LINKIN PARK, sublime, and Homegrown to name a few. Read morePublished on June 12 2002 by Lina
I love this CD. When I first heard him I was like OK he'll get his 1 song and that's it, I was totally wrong. I can't tell you how many times I have listened to my CD. Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2002 by Amazon Customer
Let me start off by sya ing that the lyricall skill of Kardinal Offishall is not going to put Canadian Hip-hop on the map with his lyrical prowess. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2001 by "gaz-l"