Attention! o-access JAMAICA reporting for duty, sir!
Kardinal Offishall, Toronto-based rapper/producer is a Jamaican by ancestral design. Raised by Jamaican parents, Kardinal Offishall honours his roots, combining the sounds of dancehall and the structure of rap.
o-access JAMAICA had a chat with the Kardinal–just to have him let us know how connected he has remained with his extended home.
OAJ: The authenticity of your Jamaican heritage is palpable. What are some of the things your parents did while you were growing up in Canada that were distinctly Jamaican?
KO: Outside of being in Jamaica every summer as soon as school let out, most of my upbringing was from a Jamaican perspective. Similar to Chinese heritage, Latin, Jewish etc–my entire family places great importance on all of us knowing or lineage. Culture and heritage is key to our family’s success. Basic morals, values and practices are still very important to all ah we…
OAJ: How often do you make it to the island now?
KO: Whenever I have the time, I’m in Jamaica! A lot of time is spent NOT working. Lol! It’s still one of the places that I can enjoy the company of my elders and absorb all the traditions and knowledge without being bothered (for the most part). Nuff cousins and bredrens too. Jamaica helped raise me and continues to inspire me–even from Toronto.
OAJ: We see you swiggin’ something in the Tattoo (Rudebwoy) video! How do you handle your white rum?? Can you handle your white rum?
KO: Listen–I grew up on whites. Wray & Nephew was the first rum I was introduced to. All them other things soft to me. As a yout’, I used to mix my dad’s rum and coke on the weekends. Lol! Man a Wray & Nephew veteran!
OAJ: Which Jamaican-style food is absolutely irresistible?
KO: Blue draws aka dukunoo. Love it madly. All the regular tings I love too. From tripe and beans wid okra, to stew peas or curry goat. I’m a Yardie foodie…
OAJ: Final question. Please gift us with that awesome Jamaican Coat of Arms pendant from the Tattoo (Rudebwoy) video!
KO: Ha! Dat one deh nah leave mi clutches. Yuh have to ask my bredren Davaki aka Audio Check for one of those…
Check out the Kardinal Offishall video for Tattoo (Rudebwoy) with a cool cameo from dancehall general Bounty Killer!