Kardinal Offishall, who often lends his many talents as a rapper and connector, to help various causes, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the performers at his sold-out Free The City event, June 30, at Toronto’s CityView Drive-In. The free tickets for the show went like that.
Hosted by Mark Strong (the voice of the Toronto Raptors), among the entertainers he has managed to rally are Dave Chappelle, Notifi, Michael Che (SNL), Donnell Rawlings, Glenn Lewis, Karl Wolf, Shantel May, Michie Mee, Jamar McNeil (Chum FM), DJ 4 Korners from the Raptors, Swaggerite, Dr. Jay de Soca Prince, Jester, Blessed, Agile, Asun Eastwood, Golde London, and more.
“All the deejays and performers at the FREE THE CITY event are donating their time, free of charge, to bring back the joy through entertainment to the city of Toronto,” it states on the crowd-funding page. “A lot of them have not been able to work for over a year, but have kept our spirits up throughout the pandemic. Let’s rally together and raise some funds that will be equally split up amongst them, as a THANK YOU for all they did and continue to do!”
Kardi, as he is known for short, tells Samaritan he was able to make the concert possible by asking “some incredible and supportive people from the music industry that empathized with my desire to create hope and opportunity for fans and artists,” he says. “RX music, Slaight Music, and Sony music all stepped up quickly to help me turn my idea to a reality.”
Kardi is certainly the guy to pull off a shoe of this magnitude so quickly. He has been a recording artist since the late 90s, with a half-dozen studio albums and features on such hits as Akon’s “Beautiful” and Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance,” not to mention having his own smash single “Dangerous,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. In 2013,while maintaining his career as an artist, he joined Universal Music Canada’s A&R team as creative executive director. In April of this year he was promoted to senior vice-president of A&R.
He says there won’t be any merchandise for sale to raise money for the artists, but he’s hoping people will contribute to the GoFundMe coffers “after experiencing such a great time.”
“Nothing for sale, everything about this is Free For The City to help as we Free The City,” he explains.
“This was put together fairly quickly and with the sole intent of raising the level of love, enjoyment and healing. Having travelled for many years creating an energetic environment, conducive to learning and love for hundreds of thousands of kids with youth organizations-I truly got to understand that philanthropy doesn’t always center around money. Many times it centers around hope.”