- LP Record (May 22 2001)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Mca
- ASIN: B00005J9VA
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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
I remember the first time I heard kardi, "Money Jane" (2000, Baby Blue Soundcrew feat. Kardi, Sean Paul & Jully Black), I just couldn't get it out of my head, the way he referred to money as a female that he couldn't get away from. His masterfull lyrics shone through on that track, after that I did everything I could to find kardi tracks.
From his Collaboration with Wu-tang ("Carefull Click Click"), to "Northern Touch" with his canadian brethren (Rascalz, Choclair, Thrust and Checkmate). It didn't seem like a single thing I heard from kardi sounded like anything else I'd ever heard. When I heard his first album was dropping, I anxiously awaited it's release, and I wasn't dissapointed. Like others have said, "Firestarter Vol. 1" Has got the be one of the single greatest albums that's ever graced the inside of my discman.
No two tracks sound alike. He hits you hard with the party track, "Bakardi Slang", gettin you hooked and wantin to hear more, as you keep headin down the track list, other lyrical gems start to stand out immedeately. "Husslin'" and "Ol' Time Killin" are two of my favorite tracks, and regularly find their way into my mix CDs even now in 2003. As you keep goin, the "Money Jane Remix" brings back memories of my first kardi experience in 2000. "Man By Choice" is next, this song stands out for me in two ways; In one way it shows his roots growing up facing racism and stereotypes, but never losing sight of the fact that he is his own man, and will never be labeled by anyone. In another way it stands out for me is the phat beat the whole thing is laid on. With the funky guitar on the choruses and the church organy (organy may not be a word =\) melody over the rest of the track, it is so unique to me from anything else I've heard, it really stands out as one of the most completely innovative tracks on the album. After Man By Choice you may be sitting in a state of awe (I know I was), "Maxine" quickly brings you back with it's bluesy island background, Kardinal compliments this sound with a sultry lilt to his jamaican accented voice, that really brings out his jamaican heritage, and gives you a deeper look into his roots. The song comes across as again, completely unique. Very few rappers can bring a track like this into an album laid down with phat beats and sick lyrics (common's latest attempt in 2003 comes to mind). "U R Ghetto" brings up what may be some more recent times in his life, and something alot of people can relate to. Numerous times I burst out laughing on the subway and got people lookin at me like I was crazy, 'cause I could picture people I knew fitting in perfectly to his examples of "ghetto". The final tracks on the album do not seem to hit as hard for me as the first 8, but each one is still unique and will have you listening to the WHOLE album, not just one hot track like so many other albums today, and your head will be bumpin' the whole while.
I am waiting patiently for his next release, I can only hope that it will be as influential for me as his debut "Firestarter Vol. 1: Quest For Fire". If any of his recently released tracks are an indicator of what Vol.2 will bring to the table, then i don't think I will find myself dissapointed. With the likes of "Sick" (feat Bounty Killer), "Block Reincarnation" (shawna feat Kardi) and "You Gets No Love Remix) (Faith Evans feat Kardi) hittin' the streets, I have no doubt that Vol.2 will be a thing of genius.