“It's the original ganja smoking herb man hustling sinsemilla smuggling raw born rough neck weh strike match pon him beard fi light him spliff” - Top Cat
Cato9 Music/9 Lives Records
Record label and publishing company/ Book publisher/recording studio/Artist management/Record production
Established in 1994 Cato9 Music started off under the name 9 Lives Records. The label was started by the artist Top Cat with help from the artist Tenor Fly and record producers Joe G and Gussie P. The label established a roster of artists very quickly ( Jah Prento, Carlene Clarke, Carolyn Thompson, Tad Hunter and Sandeeno with help always there from Claudia Fontaine for backing vocals). Guest artists such as Nerious Joseph, Sweetie Irie, Poison Chang (Stylo G's father), Chronicle (Chronixx father) Mike Anthony, Vivian Jones and Silvia Tella all collaborated and recorded for the label.
Releasing a series of number 1 and top 5 singles in the UK Reggae charts that year with tracks :
Over U Body - Top Cat (10 weeks at no1)
Bump & Grind/DJ School - Tenor Fly (no2)
Wine Up U Body - Top Cat (9 weeks at no1)
Let Him Go - Tad Hunter (no2)
Smoke The Sensi (no2)
God A Who (no4)
The label also released the album 9 Lives of the Cat in 1994 in the UK and licensed the album to RAS Records in the US where is was released under the name King Of The Jungle. The following year in 1995 the label released the second Top Cat album Catonine Tales.
During the later 90's Cato9 Music also released records under the Django 1 label. The first vocals on the Mission Impossible ridden that was tearing up the reggae market internationally were released on this label with vocals from Top Cat, Tenor Fly, Sweetie Irie, Jah Prento.
From the Jamaica projects of 1998/99 came releases from Baby Wayne, New Product, Nadine and Top Cat released on 7 inch vinyl.
In 2000 Cato9 Music released the album 'The Most Sensational," a Jungle album by Top Cat which was released in Canada and North America exclusively on the 9 Lives Records label. This was the last album released on vinyl from the label.
In 2006 Cato9 Music released the album Two Veterans which brought the sound system sparring vibes of Tenor Fly and Top Cat onto record in a Junglist fashion. The album was released on CD and digital download and was a great success for the label which was relaunching after 6 years of inactivity. During this time Top Cat also wrote the first book to be released on the label's book publishing arm of the company. This book was a groundbreaking first not only for the label but of the genre of books teaching the skills of rapping and emceeing as never before had any previous rapper of emcee embarked on writing a book explaining how to learn the skills required to become a rapper or emcee. This book was a major success and Top Cat toured the world doing book seminars in Toronto, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Munster, Prague, Sofia as well as later on Tokyo, Hakadati, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
Between 2009 and 2020 the label has released both Reggae albums and Jungle albums with Top Cat:
Cat A Log In - Top Cat 2009
Outta The Catacombs - Top Cat 2011
Cat Inna Jungle - Top Cat 2013
with the latter showcasing producers Benny Page, Marcus Visionary, Aries and collaborating with Demolition Man for the massive Junglist ganja tune Give Me The Herb.
Up and coming Italian artist Ali Roots also recorded her debut album for the label during 2012/13 which was produced and written by Top Cat.
Tenor Fly passed away in 2016 while he was working on the follow up album to Two Veterans. Due to the success of the album both Tenor Fly and Top Cat were billed as the Two Veterans whenever they were booked to work together live so it became the name of the double act. Although it was hard to complete the album with all due respect to mourning the loss, the album "Legends," was eventually released in 2019.
Aside from Tenor Fly other founding members of the 9 Lives Crew Sandeeno and Claudia Fountain both passed away in 2018/19. Both worked on the Tenor Fly album that was produced between 1995 and 1998 but wasn't released. On finding back the old master DAT in 2019 this album has been remastered and released on the label as "Reporter Man, The Human Teletext."
Watch out on our social media links for new releases forthcoming for 2020/21 and if you're a sound system or DJ keep an eye out for the dubplate sessions with Top Cat as they can only be booked exclusively only on this website.
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