When Canadian MC Kardinal Offishall dropped Fire and Glory in 2005, he was primed for success. You couldn’t find an album without a Offishall guest spot. He was like Lil’ Wayne minus give or take 30 mixtapes. Despite appearing seemingly everywhere, Offishall couldn’t maintain his own solo success. Even if he doesn’t break through much of the American mainstream, this album seems to have set Offishall off for artistic success at the very least.
If anything this album is incredibly varied. “Burnt” starts off as a modern dancehall and hip-hop mash, which is then followed by “Set It Off” featuring Clipse, which could have fit in perfectly on Hell Hath No Fury. The lead single, “Dangerous”, follows with a hook by Akon, if one didn’t know better, it could be assumed this was a Timberland produced R&B song. Offishall rides the beat perfect sounding like a more relaxed version of Ludacris. “Digital Motown” follows, as the album is on a solid run of 4 of 4.
“Gimme Some” is up next, trying to ride the successful R&B wave of “Dangerous”. Offishall makes the beat his, but ultimately it just comes off as a little slow and a little off. This track prooves that whether you love or hate Akon, the man can sing a hook. “Numba 1″ continues the R&B guest vocals with a guest spot from Rihanna. She makes a pretty hard beat work for her, but when Offishall comes in it sounds like a different song.
“Ill Eagle Alien” brings some very familiar sounding production from Nottz. Like a moonwalking Dr. Dre, the keys combined with unusual samples make it sound like a vintage Busta Rhymes track. On “Nina”, Offishall switches to singing instead of rhyming and the results over a classic reggae sample turns into perfect summer in the sun music.
The last two tracks sound like where TI was going on Paper Trail, increased synth based electronics. “Due Me a Favor” features Offishall talking about making it out of his problems dropping “Minds on my money but my money ain’t there, but I will not resort to welfare, I can’t stop, won’t stop, couldn’t even do it if I tried.” “Lighter” makes for the perfect closer as Offishall sings the hook and alternates his own verses back and forth over the beat. If Not 4 Sale doesn’t make Offishall a full fledged star in the states, it’ll be an essential in his back catalogue after he gets huge off album number three. – Dane Johnson
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