MC Skat Kat
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|MC Skat Kat|
|Associated acts||Paula Abdul|
Taylor Steele got the idea of Skat Kat came from the Gene Kelly movie Anchors Aweigh, in which Kelly's character dances with Jerry, the mouse from the Tom and Jerry cartoon series. Taylor would originally play small gigs dressed in full cat attire, though soon after become a studio musician with the character becoming fully animated by members of the Disney animation team, working outside the studio between major projects, under the direction of Chris Bailey.
MC Skat Kat was created by Taylor Steele and performed by The Wild Pair duo of Taylor Steele and Grant Ross on "Opposites Attract". MC Skat Kat's rap was written by Romany Malco and performed by Taylor Steele, although Malco is often mistakenly credited for being the voice of the first rap, a story perpetuated by Abdul herself. Stevens also provided vocals for the character in the MC Skat Kat solo album.
The character released the album The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob in 1991, which was a flop. Some of the songs made references to Paula Abdul and Opposites Attract, but Abdul did not provide vocals, except for the intro in "On the Prowl", in which she was uncredited; she did, however, make an appearance in the video of "Skat Strut", the only single to be released. Despite the popularity of its music video (as it became one of the most requested on MTV), the song only reached number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Another single from the solo album, "Big Time," was given its own video with revised music. The song was labeled as "Big Time (Animation Mix)" on the Captive Sampler. The video was completed in January 1992, but it remains unaired as of today. Most of the original animation was done by Eric Goldberg, who at the time was the lead animator of the Genie character in Disney's Aladdin feature film.
According to producer John Kafka, nobody was sure what to do with Skat after the videos were finished. Virgin Music and Universal Pictures talked of a live-action/animation hybrid feature film, but nothing ever materialized.
MC Skat Kat also appeared in "Yakety Yak - Take it Back", a Public Service Announcement produced by the Take It Back Foundation in 1991. The music video featured appearances by celebrities including Pat Benatar, Natalie Cole, Charlie Daniels, Lita Ford, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Queen Latifah, Kenny Loggins, Randy Newman, Tone Loc, Ozzy Osbourne, Brenda Russell, Barry White, Stevie Wonder and a special appearance by Bugs Bunny in an updated version of "Yakety Yak" retooled with a message about recycling. It premiered on MTV on April 10, 1991 (National Recycling Day), appeared as a trailer at AMC movie theaters, and was distributed on VHS and CD. It was later shown occasionally on Sesame Street during the early 1990s, although no Sesame Street characters were present. The video also appeared once on Nickelodeon in 1995.
Skat Kat has brown fur, a black flat-top, and a small, square goatee. He wears a white tank top, blue, baggy pants with black suspenders and yellow buttons, and big tennis shoes. He sported an earring on his left ear starting with the album artwork and the Skat Strut music video.
According to the press kit from Virgin Records' media information, Skat Kat is a "street philosopher with an alley Kat point of view." He enjoys rapping and dancing, has "got an eye for the ladies," and "remains on the smooth tip with an old school rap influence which adds the street to his new school hip hop."
In popular culture
- In the 2009 Homestar Runner Halloween cartoon, Doomy Tales of the Macabre, Coach Z dresses up as MC Skat Kat.
- In the season 4 episode of Family Guy, "The Father, The Son and the Holy Fonz," Peter appears in Paula Abdul's music video for "Opposites Attract" dressed as a cat.
- "Happy Endings" Season 3 episode 3, Penny Hartz stated that Max and Brad will be the hottest mixed race dance duo since MC Skat Kat and Paula Abdul. She mentions that MC Skat Kat was Persian.