Of course you know that, being the knowledgeable local music fan that you are.
But maybe you have… a friend—yeah, that's it, a friend—who was watching the Billboard Music Awards last night, was excited to see Paula Abdul perform her medley of hits, and even more excited to see the world's most famous rapping cartoon cat emerge during “Opposites Attract.”
Your friend (excited yet dumb): MC Skat Kat!
You (wise and apparently a little annoying): You mean, Minneapolis rapper and radio personality Derrick “Delite” Stevens.*
Then to fill your friend in, you share this excerpt from the oral history of Twin Cities hip-hop that Peter Scholtes wrote for City Pages in 2005.
Stage One, graffiti writer/DJ: Before that was MC Skat Kat. Remember Paula Abdul when she had that little cartoon cat? That was Delite, man. He was from here.
Tim Wilson, DJ: Before he became MC Skat Kat, Derrick Stevens was in a group called Soul Purpose with Danny Young, who still DJs around town as Dan Speak. I put them out on Jerry Sylvers's label, Wide Angle Records.
Dan Speak, DJ/MC: Wide Angle's fame was in the dance scene, because their biggest meal ticket was Information Society, with Paul Robb. That group went on to sign with Tommy Boy.
Delite, MC: We came out with the Soul Purpose single in 1989, and it was because of that record that I got to work with Paula Abdul. Her producer was in town, and he heard the record on KMOJ. He called up the station and said, "The DJ just said that was hometown talent. Can you tell me who this guy is?"
Tim Wilson: They went into a studio here and cut the rhyme for "Opposites Attract.”
Delite: The video came out, and it was different. Just seeing the animation, him moving his lips to my vocals, that was really weird. But I thought it was a great video.
I didn't meet Paula Abdul until after that record had been released. They wanted to do an album after the success of the single, and I remember sitting up in this executive meeting. Here I was, this 20-year-old kid not knowing too much about the music business, but I remember telling them, "The way you guys want to market this is probably wrong." They wanted to market the cat to Paula's audience, and I told them, "What you have to understand is, a good percentage of Paula's audience might not even be into rap music."
Tim Wilson: The MC Skat Kat record came out and flopped. Derrick spent two, three months out in L.A., and next thing you know, he's back, and blew through the advance. He went on to KMOJ and B96 (FM 96.3).
Verb X, MC: Skat Kat, that was kind of cheesy, but it was still hip-hop.
* Of course, Delite was not actually performing with Abdul at the BBMAs. It was just the cartoon cat. But work with me here.