Jason Harrow, better known as Kardinal Offishall, is a popular Canadian hip-hop artist and producer. Some magazines even call him a Canadian hip-hop ambassador. The artist was born in 1976 in Toronto. His parents are immigrants from Jamaica. In high school, the young man was already a big fan of music. He performed at parties arranged for neighbors. After high school, Jason attended York University but then dropped out.
Harrow loved rap since he was 8 years old. At 12, the boy won his first music talent contest. At 14, Jason performed live for the first time at an event, which was attended by Nelson Mandela. It was the politician’s first visit to Toronto after being freed from jail in 1990.
Jason graduated from West Hill Collegiate Institute in 1993. In high school, he performed under the pseudonym KoolAid. After graduation, the rapper changed it to Kardinal Offishall. Jason came up with the pseudonym when reading about the French statesman Cardinal Richelieu.
When he was just 20 years old, the artist signed his first contract with Warner / Chappell Music Canada. In 1996, he released the debut single “Naughty Dread”. Later, the song was featured in the album, Rap Essentials Volume One, and nominated for a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year.