Kardinal Offishall & Clinton Sparks Do The Right Thing

Kardinal Offishall & Clinton Sparks Do The Right Thing
Using Spike Lee’s seminal movie as a theme for a mix-tape might be a somewhat lofty ambition begging to fail but Kardinal Offishall manages to pull it off well. With Kardinal and mixtape maven Clinton Sparks assuming the roles of the aforementioned Lee and Danny Aiello on the artwork, to some humorous YouTube video promos, it’s clear that a lot of thought went into the conceptual execution of this tape, a set-up for Kardinal’s forthcoming album. The throwback feel of the artwork and promotion extend to the mixtape itself, as we find Kardinal in a hungry mood, rocking hard over "back in the day” hip-hop beats from the likes of Cypress Hill, Ultramagnetic MC’s and Gang Starr, and taking the titles of the original tracks. Sparks sticks to his usual duties, interjecting his "get familiar” catchphrase, yelling randomly and judiciously placing sonic explosions but Kardinal, for the most part, avoids the random looseness of many mixtapes by establishing an inherent theme. Kardinal rails against studio gangstas and fake coke rap MCs in his inimitably energetic style. Standouts include "Rappers R N Dainja,” the censorship rant with Little Brother, and "Good Ol’ Days,” where Kardinal reveals his childhood fondness for ball hockey and wrestling. But the new "Graveyard Shift,” featuring Akon, thankfully in non-singing mode, shows he’s got a steady eye on the future as well as the past. (Independent)