On this day in 1963, a dancehall legend was born in the Kingston neighborhood of Cockburn Pen. The child of a Black mother and an Indian father, William Anthony Maragh was given the nickname “Wild Apache” by his lyrical mentor Early B the Doctor. He would later be known to reggae and hip-hop fans the world over as deejay “Super Cat.” Stylistically, Cat’s DJ style was strongly influenced by the late great Daddy U Roy, a dancehall pioneer who also hailed from Cockburn Pen. The Jamaican-born artist honed his skills on sound systems like Killamanjaro, mentoring future champions like Ninjaman.
In the early ’90s, he relocated to New York City where he established his own Wild Apache label. While chilling at the Bronx nightclub Act III, Cat met rap superstar Heavy D and they would eventually collaborate on classics like “Big and Ready” and “Dem No Worry We.” Super Cat would continue to dominate the reggae/hip-hop crossover zone with early ’90s joints like the “Ghetto Red Hot” remix and the “Dolly My Baby” remix that shed an early light on a young up-and-coming Jamerican MC known as Biggie Smalls.
The last time we reasoned with Sean Paul, he made sure to give major props to Cat, who was a major influence on his own lyrical flow. It’s only right that we pay maximum respect to a ghetto youth and lyrical genius who blazed a trail for Jamaican music worldwide. Check out some of Boomshots‘ classic interviews with Mr. Cat over the years.
(Little-known fact: I owe my whole 17-year VIBE career to Super Cat since the magazine’s first feature-length profile of him.)
Respect in all aspect.
Photograph by Beth Lesser
Stream Super Cat Essentials on Tidal
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