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Quest for Fire: Firestarter 1 (Vinyl) [Import]

Kardinal Offishall LP Record
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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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

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Flow! March 25 2006
Format:Audio CD
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. Best Song "Ol' Time Killin'"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Genius Sept. 10 2003
Format:Audio CD
-_Keep a list of all the songs I'm gonna list in this review, cuz you're gonna wanna cop 'em all_-
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You dont know music if you dont own this! May 6 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
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 ever buy. Im not gonna go compare Kardinal to Tupac or DMX yet but 3 years from now I figure everyone will be, got this CD the day it came out and just decided to write the review now, its that good that 2 years later its still in my CD changer. If you want fresh beats, original lyrics, a new style the likes of which you probably havent heard, then you gotta own this
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Canadian Hip Hop Album of 2001! Nov. 24 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
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! Get it if you like Dancehall and Reggae Style Rap! Canada is well represented on the map with this album!
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5.0 out of 5 stars best albums i have ever owned Oct. 23 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
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. He should have been famous from his first album which is incredably hard to find. I hope he comes taking out better and better albums in the near future
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By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Kardinal is Canadian and not afraid to show it unlike some rappers from Canada like Rascalz & Choclair. Kardinal Offishall does'nt try to imatate people like DMX, Nelly, Ja Rule, Redman, P.Diddy, Method Man, Coolio, Tupac R.I.P EXE. You get the point so here's a list of the songs on the album and my rating for each on.
1. Intro- Good Intro Solid Backround- 7.5
2. Bakardi Slang- The Smash Hit Single and by far his best- 10.0
3. Mic T.H.U.G.S- Good, But not his best- 6.0
4. Husslin'- Good Song nice beat too- 8.0
5. Ol' Time Killin'- Maybe better than Barkadi Slang- 10.5
6. Money Jane (Remix) Feat. Sean Paul & Jully Black- Good- 9.5
7. Man By Choice- A song about racisiam- 9.0
8. Maxine- OH MS.MAXINE- 7.0
9. U R Ghetto 2002- Good Ol' Ghetto- 8.0
10.Quest for Fire Feat. Solitair- FYAH!!!- 9.5
11.Powerfulll- GREAT!!!- 8.5
12.G Walkin' Feat. Glenn Lewis- It's OK- 6.5
13.Gotta Get It Feat. The Saukrettes- AWSEOME- 9.5
14.On Wid da Show- Pretty Good- 7.5
15.Go Ahead Den- SWEET!!!- 9.5
*****************************************************************As you can see most of my ratings are high and really good coments. So if you don't have this CD then go get.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This cd is crazy. July 26 2002
By Jason
Format:Audio CD
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. Kardinal Offishall who I saw on BET and liked his Bakardi Slang and then saw Ol' Time Killin. After that song, I had to pick this album up and let me tell you I was not mad about going down to the record store and picking this one up. Kardinal even did a underground remix with Busta that's hot too. Kardinal's on the rise up and he's taking his whole city with him. I look forward to firestarter vol. 2 and just would recommend this album up there with the likes of Jay-Z's the Blueprint and Nas' Stillmatic. It's that good. You haven't heard nothing like it. Kardinal's bout to blow up as well as the T-Dot (Toronto).
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