Kardinal Offishall Thursday Throwback with a Blast From The Past with BET Rap City interview shortly after his signing to Akon’s Konvict Muzik in 2008. Watch the video below and subscribe to WorldWide Entertainment TV Youtube Channel.
Drake’s OVO is paying homage to Canadian hip-hop and R&B royalty with the unveiling of his All Canadian North Stars event lineup, which includes spots for legendary local acts like k-os, Keshia Chanté, Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Shawn Desman and more in Toronto today (July 28th).
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Taking place on Thursday (July 28) at Drizzy’s own History in the city’s east end, the October World Weekend festivities will also include appearances by Maestro Fresh Wes, Choclair, Rascalz, Detroit’s Frank-N-Dank, Glenn Lewis, In Essence, Saukrates and “special guests.” The 6ix God himself described the event as “a celebration of the music that paved the way for all of us” in an Instagram post yesterday (July 24).
Akon revealed in a VladTV interview he had to the chance to sign Drizzy back in 2005, but passed because “Drake sounded more like Eminem.”
“Kardinal Offishall brought him [Drake] to me in 2005, I think it was, or 2004,” Akon recalled. “It was right before [Drake’s song] ‘Best I Ever Had’ blew up, because at the time, it was more mixtape-ish. At the time, believe it or not, Drake sounded more like Eminem. With that demo I heard, it was sounding more like Em.”
He continues, “You can see the difference between that demo, and ‘Best I Ever Had’. It was completely different.”
A bidding war soon got underway that was ultimately won by Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint, which has released Drake’s music via Republic Records ever since. However, it nearly went another way: as Drake’s price rose, Kardinal Offishall, who is also a music executive dubbed Canada’s “hip hop ambassador,” made a second play to get Akon in the game.
“That’s when Kardi was like, ‘I told you this n—a was going to be the sh–!’,” Akon recalled. “I said, ‘Well, sh–, reach out [to his team].’ He said, ‘You can, but the lowest bid right now is a million.’”
Akon reveals he didn’t have a million dollars, before revealing that Epic Records chair/CEO Sylvia Rhone, who at the time was running Universal Motown Records, had the opportunity to sign Drake as well.
“Sylvia Rhone had the biggest chance to sign him,” Akon recalls. “At the time, she had Trey Songz. She thought Trey was going to be the biggest thing ever… Out of all the artists today, to me, [Drake] is worth every single f—ing penny. That mother—er’s genius, he’s revolutionary what he’s done.”