Jason Harrow better known as Kardinal Offishall should be considered Toronto’s ambassador for hip hop. Mixing his sound with his Jamaican heritage creates an undeniable sound. In 1996, Kardinal released “Naughty Dread”, which was featured on the Rap Essentials Volume One compilation. In 1997 his debut album ‘Eye & I’ was released, and the single ‘On Wit Da Show’ supported it. The album was released under Capitol Hill Music, a Canadian independent record label.
Kardinal released in 2001 the album; Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol. 1. The album brought the ‘T dot’ (Toronto) sound to the masses. First single; “BaKardi Slang” and “Ol’ Time Killin’” became hits, and BaKardi Slang even charted in the United States at number 37 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles. The album on the other hand peaked at number 57 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and the album was certified Gold in Canada. A remix to BaKardi Slang featured Bounty Killer and a remix to Ol’ Time Killin’ featured Busta Rhymes.
With his success, Kardinal then appeared on the remix to the The Neptunes smash hit by The Clipse; “Grindin’.” The song also featured Sean Paul & Bless. Hype for his next album “Firestarter Vol. 2: F Word Theory” was apparent; however the album was shelved after MCA folded. The first single “Belly Dancer” featuring Pharrell and the album also featured Timbaland. Without a label, he released the mixtape ‘Kill Bloodclott Bill’ in 2004, under his independent lable; Black Jays.
His second major-label album was released in 2005 under EMI/Virgin Music Canada title “Fire and Glory.” The singles “Everyday (Rudebwoy)”, “Heads Up”, and “Feel Alright,” were released.
His biggest hit ‘Dangerous’ featuringmentor Akon has topped multiple charts, including #1 on Billboard Rhythmic Top 40, making him a household name in North America. “Yo, people wait a whole lifetime for a song like Dangerous. It’s bugged out because literally Kardinal’s fanbase with “Dangerous” ranges from 3-years-old to literally 60-year-old women who have been like, “Oh my god, I love that song.”