Kardinal Offishall Explains How He and Akon Made "Dangerous" a Hit

September 15, 2008 2:18 PM ET

After years of getting respect from top hip-hop artists around the world (but not much in the way of chart action) Toronto MC Kardinal Offishall has a smash on his hands. "Dangerous" from his new album Not 4 Sale (out last week) went Top Five on Billboard's Hot 100 and is now chilling in the 10 spot.

Offishall says he knew "Dangerous" was a hit as soon as he heard the music from Vancouver's DJ Kemo. "I was like, 'This is retarded. I'm gonna smash this,'" he says. "And I played it for Akon and he was like, 'Where did you get this? This is crazy.' So he went in the booth to perform it. His part was done within 15 minutes. Same thing with mine. I rocked mine, wrote it, recorded it within 20 minutes. That song came together in less than an hour, but it's one of those songs," Kardi adds. "It's like that song, just like when Sting wrote 'Every Breath You Take.' We felt the magic from its inception, from the first time we heard it."

Kardi, who has also collaborated with 50 Cent, T-Pain, Ludacris, Method Man, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, and the Neptunes "was everywhere I was at," says Akon, who signed Kardi to his Konlive label and is featured on "Dangerous." "Just way before he got signed, he was with an independent label in Canada and couldn't do what he wanted to do because he was tied in at the moment, so we just kept conversing with each other until he got out of it and we hooked up. Internationally, he'll be riding with me, touring, breaking outside of Canada."

Estelle, who features Kardi on "Magnificant" from her album Shine, reciprocates on his "Due Me a Favour" on Not 4 Sale. "We both watched each other grow in the industry and have offers and deals that kind of went pffft," says Estelle. "So this time around, he's on Konlive/Interscope and I'm on Homeschool/Atlantic and we're like, 'Yeah! We did it!'"

Related Stories:
Akon Will Stand Trial For Fan Tossing Incident
Akon's Criminal Past May Be Fictional
Eight Arrested at Free Akon Show in Denmark

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »