REVIEW: Kardinal Offishall – Not 4 Sale

Review: 3.5 out of 5

Best Songs: Set It Off, Go Home With You, Gimme Some

Kardinal Offishall goes in all or nothing on his forth album “Not 4 Sale”. Now backed my heavyweight Akon and Kon Live/Geffen Records, Kardi is able to put together the best album of his career. If you’ve followed Kardi since the beginning, you’ll know he’s never been the guy with the coolest flow or the best lyrics, but you’ll also know he isn’t wack either. What Kardi has is superior showmanship that would rival Jay-Z or Busta, relentlessness raw passion and the ability to be comfortable in his own skin. In short, Kardi is a game changer because while other rappers are tracing Jay-Z’s flow, one day they maybe jockin’ Mr.Celebrity Face. Let’s get into the breakdown.

1. Burnt featuring Lindo P (Produced by Shea Taylor)
Kardi comes with a hard reggae flow over a Jamaican fused Westcoast beat. Even though I have no idea what Kardi is saying if I don’t pay close attention, I just feel like punching someone in the mouth after listening to this at rammed fête(that’s a party for you non-Caribbean folks).

2. Set It Off featuring Clipse (Produced by Boi-1da)
Boi-1da is one of the producers you need to look out for because homie is going to compete with the greats one day. By far this is my favorite joint because the beat just goes so damn hard. Let’s not forget the blood thirsty verse Kardi spits or the cool as a mutherf*cker flows the Clipse members drop. If this came on in a club, I would clean the bar with some poor individual.

3. Dangerous featuring Akon (Produced by DJ Kemo & Hazel)
Despite Kardi kicking some corny flows about the town’s bad girl, Akon’s catchy hook and the beat have made this one of the top five jams of 2008. It’s also not a bad way to get your foot in the door within the top 20 for the last few weeks on Billie.

4. Digital Motown featuring J*Davey (Produced by Jake One)
What I noticed throughout this album is that Kardi falls back droppin’ 12 bars on most verses, however, he does attack each verse with Lil Wayne-like passion and Jay-Z like precision. Even though this song ventures into Black Eye Peas territory, I can’t really blame the guy for wanting to get the hell out of Toronto’s flailing scene.

5. Gimme Some featuring The Dream (Produced by Boi-1da)
Another jaw dropping Boi-1da beat. I heard he uses Fruity Loops if so this is incredible. Never mind Soulja Boy, Timbaland should be scared. The Dream drops his standard amazing hook. But aside from the beat the real story is Kardi’s Jesus H. Christ passion. On the third verse when Kardi says, Somebody told me I couldn’t do it that’s why I do it to death, you can actually hear a star being born. This should be the next single and the video should look like Jay-Z’s Jigga What, Jigga Who.

6. Bad Like We Bad (Produced by Kardinal Offishall)
Kardi borrows T-Pain’s autotune, but uses it in a way a science fiction movie uses it. Over his own beat, Kardi puts together an high energy dancehall jam that should make its way into any club Dj’s reggae set.

7. Numba 1 (Tide Is High) featuring Rihanna (Produced by Supa Dups)
This is one of the joints I couldn’t wait to hear. I mean Kardinal with Rihanna? Are you kidding me? This is going to be insanity right? And even though Rihanna’s hook is a little off, I know why they used the Blondie verse because that song is standard play at any West Indian household -hell my mom is probably blasting the soca version right now (and it’s 4 in the morning). This could easily be a forth single.

8. Ill Eagle Alien (Produced by Nottz)
I thought Wyclef was talking at the beginning of this and from the production that Clef even produced this. *Expects a Wyclef/Kardinal collabo*

9. Nina (Produced by Supa Dups)
Me Nina, me Nina, me Nina, me Nina, me pretty Black Nina. Insanely catchy hook, though if you are not into red stripe you probably won’t like this. If you just asked what is red stripe than…

10. Go Home With You featuring T-Pain (Produced by Kardinal Offishall)
Aside from rapping and tapping, Kardinal is also an accomplished producer and this joint proves that. This is the kind of futuristic hard spitting joints I like, the only thing wrong here is the subject matter of T-Pain’s hook. Kardi’s spitting braggadocios rhymes and T-Pain’s trying to get a girl home with him. Doesn’t make sense.

11. Going In (Produced by Alex Da Kid)
This joint is similar to the last song, only the hook makes sense and Kardi goes a little harder. A good car jam.

12. Bring the Fire Out (Produced by Boi-1da)
Another scorcher from Boi-1da on the boards. Kardinal comes with a cool flow, I just wonder why each verse is like 8 bars? Did he run out of stuff to say?

13. Family Tree (Still Eyerize) featuring Glenn Lewis (Produced by Kardinal Offishall)
Even though this song has a good message and hardcore Kardi fans will love this song, this track annoys the hell out of me. I don’t know if it’s the beat or Kardi’s forced flow.

14. Due Me a Favor featuring Estelle (Produced by Akon)
Akon gets his production on this credit providing a Timbaland-Timberlake type beat for Kardi to make his case to the hip hop world.

15. Lighter! (Produced by Boi-1da)
The final song on the album is just a crazy big stadium concert jam. I would love to see Kardi perform this live, considering I would be drunk and high as hell, it would be very live.

Last Word
If you like Flo-Rida, Sean Kingston, and Lil Wayne, you’ll love this album. However, if you are into Joe Budden, Joel Ortiz and Saigon you’ll probably think this is hot garbage. From my point of view, this album is a really good hip-pop album which provides enough lyrics to pass the “I’m made this album for money” test. What I really enjoyed about this album is the quality of beats from beginning to end. Other hip-pop albums turn cheesy really fast, this album provided next level beats so even hip hop can be entertained.

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