Kardinall Offishall

From the mean streets of Toronto's east end, Jason D. Harrow (aka Kardinal Offishall) started rapping at an early age, famously performing on stage at the age of 12 in front of Nelson Mandela during the statesman's first visit to Canada. Originally calling himself KoolAid, he had changed his name to Kardinal Offishall by 1993 and signed a recording deal with Warner Music in Canada by the time he was 20. A debut single arrived in 1996 in the form of Naughty Dread, earning the rapper a Juno Award nomination, and a year later came his debut album Eye & I. Offishall's heady blend of dancehall, reggae and hip hop made him an in-demand artist and he worked with various rappers and producers - mainly in Canada - including playing piano on Choclair's single Let's Ride. The release of Husslin' in 2000 brought him some success across the border in the US, ahead of his second album Quest For Fire: Firestarter, Vol. 1, which produced the hit single Bakardi Slang. However, after his record label folded, the follow-up was put on hold as he searched for a new label, eventually releasing an alternative third album Fire And Glory independently in 2005 - in Canada only. Akon finally signed Offishall to his label in 2007 for the album Not 4 Sale, featuring hit single Dangerous (Number 5 on the Billboard chart). Offishall is currently working on a fifth studio album Mr International, scheduled for release towards the end of 2010.

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