Lovin the Crew: Kardinal Offishall Introduces Island Boy Cartel

January 18, 2013

Words by Jesse Serwerโ€”

Kardinal Offishall's Island Boy Cartel

When we spoke with Kardinal Offishall last summer, we noted the quantity of fellow West Indian folks in the Jamaican-Canadian MC’s circle, from rapper The Kid Daytona (an Antiguan) to DJ Benny Demus (a Virgin Islander) and Prince and Omar from clothing brand RepJAlโ€”all of whom appeared in his video for “The Invention of Truth”โ€”and inquired as to whether he’d ever entertained a project organizing that talent pool. While Kardinal said he liked the idea, he noted the timing had to be right. “I think it would be good for everybody to come together but we also have to be able to read the times: The Caribbean influence in music comes in waves,” he said. “You have to be sure that if youโ€™re gonna do it, itโ€™s at a time when people are open to it.”

Well looks like the timing must be right, or maybe our conversation had an impact, as Kardi recently announced the formation of IBC, or Island Boy Cartel, which includes Benny Demus (best known as Akon’s DJ), Planet VI (the USVI rap group formerly known as Rock City) and Verse Simmonds, the St. Thomas-born singer and songwriter. There’s no music from the collective online yet but you can catch some snippets in a video from website 3LittleDigs introducing the crew. As host Groove Chambers notes at the start of the clip, “It smells like curry chicken in here!” Damn right!