A hip-hop icon in Canada, Kardinal Offishall is still looking to break out in the States. The MC performed for Nelson Mandela when he was only 12-years-old, was featured in a Pepsi commercial and won a pair of Juno Awards -- equivalent to a Grammy -- before anyone outside of Toronto knew of the charismatic rapper.

"I performed for Mandela when he was released from prison when he came to Toronto. We rocked it and I was mad young too. We did a full out 10, 15 minute performance for him," Kardinal reminisced.

Now, the MC has teamed up with Akon and signed to the producer/singer's Kon Live record label in an effort to bring his success stateside. So far, with the help of the rapper's first single 'Dangerous,' Kardinal is being well-received and the MC is eager to release his upcoming album, 'Not 4 Sale,' which hit stores on Sept. 9.

"A few years ago I had made a t-shirt and it said "Not For Sale" and it had a bar code underneath, and I just made it because sometimes you get tired of wearing the same old, same old. I had that t-shirt made and we [did] a lot of traveling with it," Kardinal said when explaining the title of his new album. "Everywhere I wore it somebody would freak out about the shirt for a different reason, like there were so many different people around the world that would love it." Buy 'Dangerous' on iTunes.

soKe.flace('music-boombox.16bars.popup', '476', '600');

var uid = new Date().getTime();
var flashProxy = new FlashProxy(uid, 'http://www.aolcdn.com/_media/modtools/kit_swfpublisher_javascriptflashgateway.swf');

var flashvars = {};
try { flashvars.lcId = uid; } catch (Exc) { };
try { flashvars.outlet_w = '476'; } catch (Exc) { };
try { flashvars.outlet_h = '600'; } catch (Exc) { };
try { flashvars.targetDivId = 'music-boombox.16bars.popup'; } catch (Exc) { };
try { flashvars.targetAds = 'music-boombox.16bars.popup'; } catch (Exc) { };
try { flashvars.omniture_tracker = '0'; } catch (Exc) { };
try { flashvars.adrefresh_wrapper = '1'; } catch (Exc) { };
try { flashvars.appswfURL = soKe.fv('http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,entry&id=313188&pid=313187&uts=1220563845'); } catch (Exc) { };

if (typeof(screen_name) != 'undefined') try { flashvars.userName = screen_name; } catch (Exc) { };

var params = {};
try { params.wmode = 'opaque'; } catch (Exc) { };
try { params.quality = 'best'; } catch (Exc) { };
try { params.allowscriptaccess = 'always'; } catch (Exc) { };

var attributes = {};
try { attributes.id = 'outlet'; } catch (Exc) { };

top.exd_space.refresher.ads2Refresh(new Array(
'music-boombox.16bars.popup',
new Array('93243967', '300', '250', '0')
));
top.exd_space.refresher.iFrm2Refresh(new Array(
'music-boombox.16bars.popup',
new Array('Placement_ID', '1368480'),
new Array('Domain_ID', '1012776')
));

top.exd_space.refresher.mmx('music-boombox.16bars.popup', 'http://www.aolcdn.com/_media/channels/ke_blank.html', '');

swfobject.embedSWF('http://cdn.channel.aol.com/cs_feed_v1_6/csfeedwrapper.swf', 'music-boombox.16bars.popup-swf', '476', '600', '8.0.0', 'http://www.aolcdn.com/ke/swfobject/expressinstall.swf', flashvars, params, attributes);

top.exd_space.refresher.launcher(
'music-boombox.16bars.popup',{
dynamicSlide:[''],
size:['476t'],
photoNumber:['1'],
title:['16 Bars'],
numimages:['42'],
baseImageURL:['http://o.aolcdn.com/feedgallery//'],
imageurl:['feed/i/1/16barsst08kw/kardinalo_a090408_450.jpg'],
credit:[''],
source:[''],
caption:['16 Bars: Kardinal Offishall L.A. AOL Studio, (Photo by Fredric Reshew for AOL Music)'],
dims:['http://o.aolcdn.com/dims/PGMC/5/411/289/70/'],
showDisclaimerText:[''],
disclaimerText:[''],
CSS_Title:[''],
CSS_Caption:[''],
CSS_Disclaimer:[''],
CSS_Container:[''],
CSS_PhotoWell:[''],
CSS_Buttons:[''],
CSS_BtnOver:[''],
topMargin:['8,0,411,289,428,289,0,0']
}
);