Gimme Noise remembers hip hop pioneer MC Skat Kat


In the storied history of hip hop, there are many unsung heroes. Visionaries like the The Cold Crush Brothers and the Treacherous Three collect dust in record bins, virtually unheard of beyond hip-hop's most erudite inner sanctums. But in this shadowy otherworld, MC Skat Kat stands alone. First appearing in Paula Abdul's seminal "Opposites Attract" video, the plucky animated feline boldly pioneered rights for cartoon creatures of all stripes by breaking the music industry's long-standing Anthropomorphic Barrier, a gentleman's agreement between coporate big wigs that kept cartoon creatures off the Billboard Charts for much of the 1980's.

Riding high on his success, Skat Kat released a 1991 album with his posse "The Stray Mob," but the album's middling success and a three-cylinder promotional deal with Virgin Records quickly spelled trouble for Skat Kat, and by the mid-90's he was impoverished, troubled by a 1992 sex scandal, and out-of-touch. His popularity saw a brief spike when Skat Kat, ever the humanitarian, featured in a highly visible Public Service Announcement about recycling entitled "Take It Back." But by this point, Skat Kat was in failing health and addicted to barbiturates. After a bout with FIV in 1998, Skat Kat was quietly euthanized in a Detroit-area humane society, where he was mistaken for a common stray.

Lest he remembered for his ignominious end, Gimme Noise presents MC Skat Kat in his salad days.