After much underground hype and very little impact left on the United States, Canadian native Kardinal Offishall has finally broke onto the pop charts with Not 4 Sale (Kon Live/Geffen Records). Kardinal may not be for sale, but he and Akon’s production crew spent their money wisely when it came to stacking Not 4 Sale with big name collaborations. Kardinal’s Reggae and Dancehall influenced Rap is combined with everything from Motown to R&B giving Not 4 Sale chart topping possibilities.
The already popular “Dangerous” teams Kardinal and Akon up for the perfect recipe to be a club hit. However other collaborations like “Numba 1” featuring Rihanna put Kardinal in the back seat while the current princess of R&B steals the spotlight.
Kardinal steps outside of his comfort zone to show a more conscious side on the J. Davey assisted “Digital Motown” (“The ghetto youths are suffering / They need a fun day / I’m bleeding to see you succeeding one day”). Unfortunately, his moment of seriousness is easily dismissed due to the hyped up, party song production courtesy of Jake One. Fortunately, “Gimme Some” featuring The Dream and “Set It Off” featuring The Clipse bring things back to a more enjoyable pace.
Kardi finally gets the chance to showcase his true Reggae roots on Due Me A Favour. Mixing his Dancehall delivery with the soulful voice of Estelle, the track provides a glimpse into man’s everyday struggles and Kardinal’s holy side: “It’s like speeding down the highway with a blindfold on / No hands on the wheel hoping God will lead me my way / And I know He will or so my grandma say.
Kardinal’s got the Reggae flow on lock down for most of the disc, but Akon’s notoriety for creating chart toppers is a recipe that doesn’t necessarily fit for Kardinal. In the process of making music that will guarantee revenue, Kardinal’s talent as a rapper is lost amongst Not 4 Sales commercial make up. A few tracks do stand out proving his reign as an underground king was no fluke, but the radio friendly appeal leaves this effort heavily discounted on Kardinal Offishalls true star power.
Kardinal Offishal Featuring Akon