Fresh from performing a high-energy seven-minute medley of his hits alongside his hype man Spliff Starr, drummers and dancers at the MTV Video Music Awards, Busta Rhymes went straight to Brooklyn to celebrate producer Swizz Beatz who was having a birthday party. The party was a star-studded event with rappers and other celebrities paying tribute to the Verzuz originator, Fayon Lyons, Mary J Blige and Dancehall legend Super Cat.
A highlight of the night, as documented on Swizz Beatz Instagram page today, was when Busta Rhymes took the mic from Super Cat to pay tribute to Swizz. He went straight into paying homage to the Dancehall artists from the 80s and 90s who inspired him.
Busta said, “I used to sit home and I used to watch the f-cking video tapes and I used to be like yo I want to be like them. Papa San, Lecturer, professor Nuts, Super Cat, Admiral Bailey, Tiger, dem man deh me did a try be. Everything weh me do me learn from dem man deh so when I jump around onstage I learned it from them, the way I fucked niggas on their records I learned from them”.
A happily countenanced Super Cat, who the world has not seen publicly in a few years was pleased with his acknowledgment.
Busta then ended with “Swiss Beatz Happy birthday to you King”.
Super Cat, then took the mic and broke into a short freestyle on the Sleng Teng Riddim showcasing exactly what Busta Rhymes was talking about as he paid tribute to Swizz.
Super Cat’s music career is one of the most decorated and admired in dancehall’s history, having climbed the Billboard Hot 100 and other charts with numerous hits. He was one of the most sought-after collaborators among the hip hop community in the 90s but it was his songs Girls Town, Na Na with 112, Alright with Kriss Cross and Dolly My Baby with Mary J Blige, 3rd Eye and Puff Daddy that earned him the most chart success. He had a number of other hit singles in the early 1990s, including Don Dada, Ghetto Red Hot and Dem No Worry We with Heavy D.
The Source Magazine named him dancehall artist of the year in 1993.
His song Dance Inna New York was sampled for Nas’ single The Don, from the rapper’s 2012 album Life Is Good, with Cat adding vocals to the hook.
Another highlight of the evening was when Cham and Alicia Keys performed their hit Ghetto Story remix in the intimate venue as Swizz got in his zone dancing Jamaican style. Cham also paid tribute to Super Cat as he sang “A We dem wah fi ram it up,” to resounding applause.
“Too good, Super Cat is my favorite,” Swizz Beatz concluded. Stone Love was on hand playing, according to Beatz.