The Akon-orchestrated U.S. breakout bid of chronically underachieving Toronto rapper/producer Kardinal Offishall employs a scattershot strategy of pairing him up with different combinations of producers (Jake One, Nottz, Supa Dups, Boi-1da, Alex da Kid and Akon) and vocalists (Rihanna, Estelle, T-Pain, Glenn Lewis, Lindo P and Akon) to see what hits.
It may be the best way to test the market and could provide Offishall with some much-needed chart action. But it's not the most effective approach to establishing a unique and identifiable Kardinal sound, which is a crucial career-building step. On the upside, there are a couple of potential club bangers and no cheesy celebrity collabos to undercut Kardi's hard-earned street cred. On the downside, reusing the signature lick from Slim Smith's My Conversation for the track Nina, which the Dream Warriors' flipped for their hit Ludi, is just plain corny, and waiting until mid-September to launch what could've been the soundtrack of the summer seems like a huge miscalculation. We'll have to just wait and see.