Kardinal Offishall has joined the Def Jam Records roster, but in an executive role. The Canadian rap star has been appointed as the label’s Global A&R and will oversee Def Jam’s influx of international talent while scouting new acts. The 46-year-old spitter shared his excitement over beginning the next chapter in his journey and the opportunity to place his imprint on one of Hip-Hop’s most iconic brands.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be able to work with the new faces of Def Jam,” the veteran hitmaker shared in statement. “I grew up on all the legendary music that had a home here. From LL Cool J and DMX to Benny the Butcher and 2 Chainz, the company has an incredible legacy and I’m looking forward to working with the new superstars, as well as the incredible legacy acts.”
Kardi also took the time out to shout out Def Jam CEO Tunji Balogun and Executive Vice President Latrice Burnet on entrusting him with his new position before voicing his intention to help spearhead Def Jam’s evolution into a global powerhouse.
“Big up @tunji @tricerocbklyn and the whole @defjam family! We on a mission to bring y’all the best artists from around the world and shift culture, with the amazing talents we discover, nurture and partner with,” he wrote in the caption read. “It is a massive privilege to continue to help bring creatives’ visions to the world.”
One of the first Canadian rap artists to gain widespread acclaim in the U.S., Offishal spent the ’90s building his reputation in his home-country before making the leap to the majors in 2000 after inking a deal with MCA Records. Releasing his second studio album Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol. 1 in 2001, the album yielded the hit singles “BaKardi Slang” and “Ol’ Killing Time.” After leaving MCA, Kardi released several more albums including Fire and Glory (2005), Not 4 Sale (2008), Kardi Gras, Vol. 1: The Clash (2015), and his most recent effort Pick Your Poison (2022).
The rapper’s tenure with Def Jam Records marks his latest foray into an executive role. He previously served as Creative Executive Director of A&R for Universal Music Canadain 2013 and was later promoted to Senior Vice President, A&R in 2021.