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Kardi Party


I'm not one for industry parties. This is wildly ironic, especially considering that I'm supposed to be "in the scene." But, as much as I know that it's standoffish and potentially career-limiting, I've never been a schmooze and mingle type of dude.

That said, last night I just had to show my support for Kardinal Offishall and attend his album release party at Vegas Bar. The rapper-producer's new album, Fire and Glory, is his first major effort since 2001, so it was a big do-to. I even braved last night's crummy weather to do it.

As expected, the event was the usual mix of industry types and hangers-on. But if you've talked to Kardi or seen him on the street, you'll know that he's a very classy and humble type of dude. That changes when he's on stage, where he transforms into a rapping whirling dervish, an animated force of hip-hop flavour with a splash of dancehall reggae sensibilities mixed in.

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His new album, the long-awaited Fire and Glory, is a classic example of true Canadian hip-hop, the type that isn't ashamed to rep its True North roots while doing so on its own terms. Much like k-os' Joyful Rebellion album, those expecting an album of straight up hip-hop are going to be disappointed. Well, not so much disappointed as surprised -- Fire and Glory is a mix of hip-hop and dancehall reggae-styled joints (Kardi even sings on one rootsy track).

The lead single, Everyday Rudebwoy, is a good indicator of what you're getting into on the 14-track project. While not a perfect album (do they even exist these days?) it is something solid, something that merely hints at the heights the rapper is likely to attain.


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