Halt. Stop the track. Ease! It is one thing to hear the unmistakable voice of Super Cat flipped by NaS and Salaam Remi (and yes the one Heavy D) over a beat invoking the most crucial era of dancehall and hip-hop cross-germination. It’s another thing for Cat himself to bless a stage in New York–or anywhere, for that matter–these days, having hardly been seen or heard from since his wildly successful co-billing with Shabba Ranks at Queens’ Amazura venue, put together by Dahved Levy back in 2005. So when the infamous Don Dada stepped on stage over Labor Day weekend during Shaggy & Sting International‘s set at Bobby Konders and Hot97’s On Da Reggae Tip concert in– full Bin Laden beard and bedouin head-dress–it was truly a needle skip moment for reggae heads and rap fanatics alike. Draped in his characteristic pin-strip zoot suit (one arm out of the sleeve for easy gun-slinging action–true story!) Cat ripped through a energetic performance of his classic 45 “Vineyard Style” and the ultimate dancehall/hip-hop crossover tune “Ghetto Red Hot” in its original riddim version. In addition to posting the story the Super Cat scientists over at LargeUp also dug up the Don Dada’s lost Star Trak mixtape–assembled by none other than the homie Max Glazer back when the Cat was briefly signed to The Neptunes label via host/A&R Cipha Sounds, including more classics plus some Neptunes tracks that have rarely if ever seen the light of day outside their white label promo 45 pressings. Listen at, read the full story from LargeUp’s Jesse Serwer and hit the link to watch video of this weekend’s live set. The Wild Apache rides again!
Yesterday’s West Indian Day Parade down Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn might have been the apex of a weekend full of Caribbean culture in NYC but, for many dancehall fanatics, the highlight of the weekend came Friday, when the elusive Super Cat took to the stage at Hammerstein Ballroom for his first performance in years, at Massive B and Hot 97′s On Da Regae Tip concert. (Watch video of that here).
One of the most legendary and influential dancehall artists of all time, the Original Heartical Don Dada has been a ghost for the last decade, making only a handful of public appearances. His last previous stageshow performance was all the way back in 2008, at Miami’s Best of the Best. (Who knows, though—with his Jesus-length hair and beard, an almost unrecognizable Cat could easily move incognito).
In fact, the last time Super Cat had any sort of consistent presence at all within the music business was a full decade ago, when the deejay briefly signed to the Neptunes’ Star Trak record label. Producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo had planned to executive produce what would have been the first new Super Cat album in eight years, dropping the track “The Don of All Dons” with Jadakiss and Styles P as an appetizer on their compilation album Attack of the Clones. But the partnership was not to be, and the parties parted ways shortly thereafter. But not before Star Trak A&R Cipha Sounds commissioned Federation Sound‘s Max Glazer to put together a mix previewing the planned release.
The Original Heartical Don Dada Super Cat featured a pair of freestyles, “Weedman” (over the beat to Kardinal Offishall’s “Bellydancer”) and “Wha U’ Name?” (over Jay-Z’s “Excuse Me Miss”), along with a journey through Cat’s classic tracks including the dancehall and hip-hop mixes of “Ghetto Red Hot,” “Dem No Worry We” and “Dolly My Baby.”