Sound Tracks: "The Anthem" by Kardinal Offishall
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Sound Tracks: “The Anthem” by Kardinal Offishall

Believe it or not, music videos still exist. Sound Tracks trolls the internet to find the best and the worst of local artists’ new singles and the good, bad, or otherwise noteworthy visuals that accompany them.

Always eager to show what makes “the T dot O dot one of a kind,” Kardinal Offishall recently released an audiovisual apotheosis of anything and everything Toronto related. His music video for “The Anthem,” officially uncloaked during the relaunch of MuchMusic’s RapCity last Thursday, attempts to squeeze shots of every local landmark and key figure possible into four minutes and eighteen seconds of drippy DSLR film.
Directed by Kardi himself, the entire video was shot in twenty-four hours on two cameras, which captured everything from recognizable buildings (including the AGO, Horseshoe Tavern, CBC, Honest Ed’s and Offishall’s alma mater, York University) to surrounding GTA hoods (such as Rexdale, Flemingdon, Malvern, and Lawrence Heights) to local celebs (George Stroumboulopoulos, Dina Pugliese, Cabral “Cabbie” Richards, Melanie Fiona, Russell Peters, Boi -da, Andreena Mill, Trixx, and Jay Martin). The result is a hyper-kinetic, ultra-familiar experience that all Torontonians (and perhaps only Torontonians) can appreciate.
The tune itself sees Kardi give daps to his homebase’s multiculturalism (Portugese get it in / Filipinos rock with me / ‘Nuff Trinis and Yardees / holding the block with me), ma and pa shops (Harlem Underground, black owned businesses / Big It Up Hats, and immigrants from long distances) and communities, anchored by a “Heigh-Ho”-esque worker’s chant of a chorus: “I’m from the T dot Oh-ohhh / Rep it everywhere I goooo (rep it everywhere I go).”
As the first single off of Mr. International, Offishall’s upcoming record that could fully break him into the American consciousness (after he made a splash with 2008’s Not 4 Sale), “The Anthem” is a risky decision. An insular paean to a city north of the border won’t mean much to those stateside or abroad. But it means the world to us.

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