First Hit #1: February 10, 1990
Paula Abdul records a song with a rapping animated cat. Somewhere, Frank Farian quietly weeps, if only Milli Vanilli was Milli The Kitty!
Hip Hop has had a decidedly strange course to the top of the chart, and this is possibly the strangest trip yet. The hip cat was the foundation for basically all ’90s kids programming – a animal, generally with sunglasses, who is cool, hip and extreme, as well as other marketing buzzwords – and the song is an updated version of something like “Anything you can do.” Abdul and the Wild Pair have decent chemistry, as they bounce back between the different ways they’re so complete opposites. It’s actually pretty quaint, and then it gets even more quaint when we get a tap dance breakdown. It’s strange and goofy, but it’s catchy and is capturing the decidedly odd zeitgeist that is establishing itself early in the decade. As a kid in the ’90s, I’m quite familiar with the MC Skat Kats that were invented to sell me toys and breakfast cereal, but at least this example had a fun pop song and only advertised itself.