[Album Review] Kardinal Offishall- Kardi Gras Vol 1: The Clash
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Release Date: October 30th, 2015
Label: Universal Music Canada

The man who helped to put Canada on the hip hop map is back with a fresh new album “Kardi Gras Vol 1: The Clash”. You can expect the typical catchy Kardinal Offishall flow with banging beats on this album. The difference on Kardi Gras Vol 1: The Clash is that Kardi is striving to keep up with the trends in today’s hip hop scene. You can hear how he uses heavily autotuned vocals and trap sounding beats to help blend into 2015. The songs “OG” and “No Reason” are great examples. They will bring you flashes of Fetty Wap and Post Malone. He’s trying to go for the whole melodic and auto tuned sound that others are doing so well right now.

Honestly, Kardinal Offishall has an incredible flow and should stick to what he does best. Now there is nothing wrong with changing things up but that style definitely does not work for him. It just sounds awkward and makes it seem like he’s more concentrated on making a hit than an actual good song. But Kardinal also gives us what we’ve been looking for, that classic Kardi sound with sprinkles of truth. The first song on the album, “Hope” is a beautiful ballad about how Kardinal Offishall sees life now. He breaks free from the norm with songs like “Hope” as he uses horns and a choir sounding chorus to really carry the song. “To Kill A Shadow” also sounds like a classical ballad as he tears down the beat with his bars and truthful lyrics. During a first listen you may say things like “did he get a live orchestra in the studio for this one?!?!” Oh yeah the singer on the chorus KILLS it on this one!

Kardi isn’t afraid to speak his mind or the truth and he lets you know exactly how he is feeling about today’s society in almost every song. A line that hit me the hardest came off the song “Real Live Gangsta”. It goes “All police are not evil and all my brothers are not good. All police are not good and all my brothers are not evil”.

Kardinal really bled to put this together for us. You can tell the work that went into Kardi Gras Vol 1: The Clash. Don’t believe me? Just hit play on the song “Just A Man”, my favourite song off the album. It’s a guitar ballad with piano cords in the background while he tells you know matter what he will make his dreams come true. 

Overall this album is a good taste of what Kardinal Offishall is all about. Do I think this is the best album he has ever made? No. He’s trying too hard to fit in with the younger generation of mc’s. His style and flow doesn’t fit in with the sound of the city right now. But it never did, that’s exactly what made him stand out and made him a legend. Kardinal you are someone who paved the way for many Canadian rappers. So don’t change for anyone, stick to what made you, well you.