A new collaboration has Kardinal Offishall sounding great.
Rap is a fickle genre. It doesn’t take much to go from chart-topping superstar to punchline. Just ask Ja Rule.
Kardinal Offishall is one of the exceptions. He first appeared on the scene in the mid-’90s, and has been delivering hits fairly consistently ever since. His latest effort, Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself—or AMTRIM for short—is a collaboration with Virginia-based producer Nottz Raw, best known for his work with Asher Roth, Game, and Busta Rhymes. It’s another remarkably solid outing.
Kardinal is an MC’s MC. While he may not specialize in stuffing a ton of words in the verse or blowing you away with his vocabulary, he has similes and metaphors for days (“Get It In” and “1st 48” are particularly impressive) and a sort of easy-breezy signature flow that’s instantly recognizable.
Nottz Raw is a good partner; Kardi sounds great flowing over the Virginian’s old soul samples. It’s a different tone for the MC, who’s best known for reggae-tinged jams and club bangers, but it works. “Mr. Parker,” a Jackson 5–sampling collaboration with fast-rising local R&B talent Shi Wisdom, is particularly infectious. (You can listen to “Mr. Parker” by clicking on the sample above.) The high-energy, gospel-based “Take It There” is equally impressive. Nottz also flexes his not-unimpressive skills as an MC on “Take It There” and “Electrik Sexy.”
AMTRIM proves that Kardinal’s skills haven’t diminished with time. In fact, he may be better now than he’s been in years.