Zebra Katz

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Zebra Katz
ZebraKatz1.jpg
Background information
Birth nameOjay Morgan
Born1987 (age 33–34)[1]
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.[2]
Genres
Occupation(s)
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2012–present
Labels
Associated actsGorillaz
Websitezebrakatz.com

Zebra Katz, born Ojay Morgan in West Palm Beach, Florida, is a Berlin-based Jamaican-American[3] rapper, producer, and songwriter who's collaborated with artists like Busta Rhymes and Gorillaz. His career took off in 2012 when fashion designer Rick Owens featured Zebra Katz's song, "Ima Read," on loop at Paris Fashion Week.[4]

Genre Defying Artist[edit]

Throughout his career, Morgan has openly spoken out against the "queer rap" genre coined by Pitchfork and other publications used to classify Zebra Katz, and artists like Mykki Blanco and Le1f.[5] While stating that if it weren't for his sexuality, he'd be generally classified as a "rapper," Morgan claims the inherently homophobic genre pigeonholes musicians. In this sense, his music has been classified as genre-defying.[6]

Ima Read[edit]

Despite not having a strong personal relationship with voguing, Morgan says the movement was pushed onto him as a means for creating context for "Ima Read." The connection between voguing and the track was fuelled by the 20th anniversary of the ballroom scene documentary film Paris is Burning and popularization of voguing in 2012. That said, Morgan loves ballroom culture/voguing. He performed at the 2012 GMHC House of Latex Ball,[7] supports House of Vogue founder, DJ MikeQ,[8] and is a forming member of the House of Ladosha.[9]

LESS IS MOOR[edit]

Inspired by James Baldwin, Grace Jones, Nina Simone, and Little Richard, Zebra Katz's 2020 debut album, Less is Moor – pays homage to the minimalistic approach often demanded from artists of color. Morgan clarifies this by saying that non-white people are commonly expected to be more resourceful than their white counterparts.[10] With elements of hip-hop, drum 'n' bass, and electronic music, Less is Moor is said to channel Katz's caustic lyricism into its biting rhythms.[11]

The basis for the Less is Moor album started while Morgan was studying at the New School's Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts. His senior thesis project, "Moor Contradictions," was a performance featuring monologues and raps, including "Ima Read," from different personas created by Morgan. Among these characters is Zebra Katz, who Morgan says, was formed as a result of his thesis on identity obsession.[12] Since then, Morgan has been fighting against the various boxes and typecasts created by those around him.[13]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Less Is Moor (2020)
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Intro To Less"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Jonathan Baruc
  • Zebra Katz
  • Death Qualia
2:22
2."Ish"
3:29
3."Lousy"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Lasse Martinussen
  • Zebra Katz
  • La Martinus
2:46
4."Blush"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Navarrete
  • Zebra Katz
  • Sega Bodega
2:11
5."In in In"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Anthony Quattro
  • Zebra Katz
  • Tony Quattro
3:18
6."Zad Drumz"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Joeri Woudstra
  • Daniel Trachtenberg
  • Zebra Katz
  • Torus
  • Br83the
2:59
7."Monitor" (featuring S Ruston)
  • Zebra Katz
  • Troels Baunbæk-Knudsen
  • Sophie Ruston
  • Zebra Katz
  • Ctrls
1:40
8."Moor"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Navarrete
  • Michael Carr
  • Zebra Katz
  • Walter Gross
  • Sega Bodega
2:24
9."Necklace"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Martinussen
  • Zebra Katz
  • La Martinus
1:55
10."Sleepn"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Navarrete
  • Zebra Katz
  • Sega Bodega
3:17
11."No 1 Else"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Tom Parker
  • Zebra Katz
  • Count Baldor
2:17
12."Upp"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Woudstra
  • Trachtenberg
  • Zebra Katz
  • Torus
  • Br83the
3:13
13."Been Known"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Joachim Piehl
  • Jonas Nikolaus Lang
  • Martin Peter Wiloumeit
  • Zebra Katz
  • Jugglerz
2:28
14."Lick It N Split" (featuring Shygirl)
  • Zebra Katz
  • Sega Bodega
3:00
15."Exit 2 Void"
  • Zebra Katz
  • Mike Chunusoff
  • Zebra Katz
  • Mike Dextro
1:43

Notes

  • All track titles are stylized in all uppercase letters.

Mixtapes[edit]

  • Champagne (2012)
  • Drklng (2013)

EPs[edit]

  • Winter Titty (2012) (with Boyfriend)
  • Tear the House Up: Remixes (2014) (with Hervé)
  • 1 Bad Bitch: Remixes (2014) (with Ten Ven + Ripley)
  • Nu Renegade (2015) (with Leila)

Singles[edit]

  • "Ima Read" (2013)
  • "Tear the House Up" (2014) (with Hervé)
  • "Hello Hi" (2016)
  • "Blk & Wht" (2017)
  • "In In In" (2019)
  • "Lousy" (2019)
  • "Ish" (2020)
  • "Upp" (2020)

Guest appearances[edit]

  • Tanika – "Thoughts of Love" from Thoughts of Love (2013)
  • Kura – "Our Sun" from Our Sun (2015)
  • Gorillaz – "Sex Murder Party", "The Apprentice", and "Out of Body" from Humanz (2017)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Booking Agent Zebra Katz". Retrieved 10 April 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Zebra Katz". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Zebra Katz Claims The Anti-Throne". Interview.
  4. ^ "Into the Wild". us.carhartt-wip.com.
  5. ^ "Queer Rap is Not Queer Rap". Pitchfork.
  6. ^ "Zebra Katz shares powerful new video for 'ISH'". www.kaltblut-magazine.com.
  7. ^ "GMHC's Annual House of Latex Ball". www.poz.com.
  8. ^ "ZEBRA KATZ DOESN'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOUR HOT TAKES". ssense.com.
  9. ^ "Spotlight on Brooklyn Playlist". The New Yorker.
  10. ^ "Why Zebra Katz Waited Seven Years Before Dropping His New Album 'Less is Moor'". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Zebra Katz meshes industrial hip-hop and trap on debut album, LESS IS MOOR". thevinylfactory.com.
  12. ^ "Zebra Katz". Vogue.
  13. ^ "Dazzle-Camo: An Interview With Zebra Katz". thequietus.com.

External links[edit]