Archive | December, 2011

MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob

17 Dec

More than twenty years ago, Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract introduced MC Skat Kat, an animated feline rapper (the clean kind). His physique might remind some of you of that of Roger Rabbit. I created some artwork (colored with Adobe Photoshop) in preparation for Abdul’s 50th birthday and as a sure-fire way to acknowledge the existence of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob, since no one else has ever thought of it before. I think it would look great in all sorts of places (sans my logo and notes): posters, bags, folders, lunchboxes, gift cards, desktop wallpapers, jigsaw puzzles, even three-dimensional dioramas! I could go on. This might not be the final version, however. I often have to make revisions to remain faithful to the source material.

The Stray Mob, of course, consists of Fatz (the short cat), Taboo (the cat wearing red shorts), Leo (the burly creature whose species I cannot verify at this time), Micetro (the mouse you see sitting on the hood of the limo/Skatmobile), Katleen (the cat in the pink hairdo) and Silk (the cat with blue eyes). You can read more about Skat Kat and the Mob in the pages I recently discovered on a blog devoted to Paula Abdul memorabilia:

Did you know it’s been twenty years since Skat Kat’s album came out? Sadly, it was one of the most underrated albums in the early 1990s. Don’t get me wrong – the songs on it are pretty good and decent once you get to know them. If you have RealPlayer on your computer, you can listen to the tracks at http://www.paula-abdul.net/html/mc_skat_kat.html.

Read what Jon Mendicina had to say about the album. He liked it.

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And take a look at the review of the album here: albumreviews

And you know what? The song Skat Strut was released off the album as a single and got its own music video, which became the most requested on MTV in 1991. No question. Many people actually liked it. Check it out in high quality.

Believe it or not, the video was once used to demonstrate the potential of US Animation’s computerized animation system, and it was well-received.

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Skat also had a second single called Big Time, and it was given its own music video with revised music; however, it was never fully shown to the public. Look at this. And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the lyrics “a mutt named Leo.” Unless the term ‘mutt’ refers to someone unintelligent, I’ll never know what Leo really is.

I don’t get it. If the video was finished in January 1992, why didn’t Kafka upload the whole thing? I never quite understood why nobody was sure what to do with the cat. Hopefully, we’ll get to see the entire video when Abdul’s 50th birthday approaches.

I’m not going to lie to you all, there are fans out there who think MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob should be reintroduced, and I believe it would be best if he was brought back in the same appropriate style and appearance. Plus, he still has to be hand-drawn. We don’t want to disappoint the fans, you know. As the lyrics in the UK-exclusive song Get a Grip from the Skat Strut LP say “I gotta be Skat Kat, the MC, not what society wants me to be.” I wish I could upload the sound file of the song, but I’d have to pay to do it. We’ve got to get iTunes to make the album, the videos, and the UK-exclusive song available to purchase.

If there’s one company that should bring him back, it would have to be The Walt Disney Company. I have my top ten reasons for this and I might work for the company someday. As for my artwork, I wonder if I should duplicate it with Adobe Illustrator so it doesn’t have any pixels. Hopefully, the artwork will be enough to convince Mike Patterson, whom you can contact at USC School of Cinematic Arts, to give Skat Kat another chance.

UPDATE 11/13/2013

So, on November 6, 2013, I decided to search for MC Skat Kat artwork on deviantArt, which is rather scarce, mind you, and when I looked at this one piece of work and scrolled down to read the artist’s text, I found something that made my day: a link to a Vimeo video uploaded by Patterson + Reckinger (Mike and Candace) – this user actually has the full, high-quality version of the unaired MC Skat Kat music video, Big Time!

When I noticed the time length, 3:47, I was like, “No way!” Without haste, I went ahead and played the video, feeling giddy about anything that was never before seen in John Kafka’s really small file. And I have to say, it was a lot more entertaining than I could have ever imagined, what with the higher number of frames per second.

What I loved best was the majority of the original animation produced by one Eric Goldberg. He’s the same man who works for Walt Disney Animation! This here is one of the best reasons I think Disney should reintroduce MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob. The question is, how should Disney reintroduce Skat Kat? If I were Mike Patterson, I’d use the song “Skat Kat’s Theme” for the next music video so old fans and new fans can both enjoy his comeback in a comprehensive matter. If the folks at Disney were to give him his own movie, it could be something that hasn’t been done in a long time: an anthology. There were many possibilities for people to discover with the family-friendly rapping cat, but somehow they just didn’t have the confidence to do all that.

And now for the voice casting.

From what I know, Skat Kat’s voice actor, Derrick “Delite” Stevens,” is a radio host for some station in a northern area of the United States. I wonder if he would be able to reprise his role. If not, who else can do it? The “College Boyz” are defunct, so we can rule them out. Khary Payton (voice of Cyborg of Teen Titans), perhaps? He’s an African-American voice actor and he might be able to pull it off.

For Fatz, I’m thinking of John DiMaggio for two reasons: 1. Fatz’s voice is somewhat equivalent to that of Rico from The Penguins of Madagascar, and 2. John can beat box.

For Taboo, I’m leaning towards either Phil LaMarr or Bumper Robinson. All I know is, the voice actor has to be African American and capable of pulling off a voice that’s not too high and not too low. Given the choice between the two, I think I’d take Phil.

For Leo, three words: Kevin Michael Richardson. Judging by Kevin’s prolific career as a voice actor for some deep-voiced characters, I’d say he would fill the bill.

For Katleen, if I had to choose somebody in the industry appropriate for a cat with a sassy personality, Grey Griffin (formerly known as Grey DeLisle), would definitely work. And you know what? Grey has a terrific singing voice! Check out her albums on iTunes or any other place that sells music.

For Silk, I vote Cree Summer. She’s a pretty good singer and her voices are often African American, so that works well. Her voice would have to be similar to that of the Green M&M.

And for Micetro, there would have to be a voice actor whose voice would be perfect when sped up. Or not. Greg Cipes, known for performing Beast Boy in Teen Titans and Michelangelo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, would be good because he can sound high-pitched when he does the aforementioned characters.

Help bring back MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob.

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Masking

16 Dec

December 16, 2011

After looking at the credit item list, I figured I had to put this up right away.

Self Portrait

14 Dec

CJ’s picture 11 x 17

You’re going to need to click it to view it.