It’s Wednesday, Portland.
And you know that means it’s time to get weird.
Every week, we celebrate elements of Portland’s wonderful weirdness in collaboration with Weird Portland United.
If you haven’t read any features from this series yet, you can find our archive of Weird Wednesdays right here. Previous profiles have featured The Unipiper, the Portland Sleestak, Spencer Sprocket, Carlos the Rollerblader, Strawberry Pickle, and many more colorful local characters.
I have to admit something to you folks, I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about an interview before (and that’s counting the time I got to interview Tony Hawk).
Today, our Weird Wednesday treat for you is an interview with a Portlander who’s passionate about a good flow, a steady beat, being true to yourself, and (of course) cats. You may have seen him walking his cats around town, advocating for shelter adoption, from his children’s books, or perhaps from this 2016 video of him rapping to DJ Ravioli in the bathtub.
You know you wanna scroll down — and we’re not going to stop you. 😉
For anyone living under a rock, mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Baltimore in the projects. I was always different; I was that dude in the hood who was into Daft Punk. I managed to make it out of the hood and went to York College in Pennsylvania, where I met my lady.
After college I moved out west with my wife and our cats and continued building a name for myself as iAmMoshow The Cat Rapper. I rap about supporting animal shelters, encouraging people not to declaw their cats, and supporting adoption vs breeding — especially for black cats who often get overlooked. I have five cats of my own named Black $avage, Sushi, Lil Parmesan, Mega Mam, and DJ Ravioli.
When did your passions for rapping and cats start and at what point did they combine?
I think it’s safe to say my wife was a cat lady when I met her. We met in college, and I used to go over to her house to study. She had a black cat named Queenie, as well as five other cats at home. Queenie would stare me down trying to intimidate me; she didn’t trust me at first. But little by little, she let her guard down and the next thing I knew she was sitting in my lap. I totally fell for Queenie after that.
I grew up in the projects, so I was rapping gangster stuff and pretending to live a life that I didn’t really live. I didn’t feel comfortable rapping about things I didn’t do. I love cats. I am a rapper, yeah, but I have a softer and more creative side. I wanted to start being true to myself and rap about the things I love and the things that are important to me in my life. Things progressed and eventually I became known as iAmMoshow The Cat Rapper.
Moshow and DJ Ravioli have many goals, but first and foremost is to try and put a smile on your face. (📸: Courtesy of Nico Seabright)
Tell us a little bit about your new Netflix show “Cat People” — how long have you been working on it and what’s the premise?
Cat people are the best people! The Netflix series “Cat People” is all about cat love and one of the tightest circles of compassion, inspiration, and creativity there is. Cat people can do anything when they put their minds to it.
I’ve been working on the series for just over a year, and I’m so happy I’m finally able to talk about it and share it with all of you. We filmed in all of my favorite places in Portland like Mount Tabor Park, Rainbow City, and my cat house. The show gives an inside look at my life, my family, and my friends that I’ve never really shared before.
What do you hope viewers take away from the show? What would you like to resonate most?
Cat people come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and everyone has their own story. What I love about this show is it breaks down barriers and shows how diverse the cat community really is. And it shows how many people who are out there trying to make a difference, like me. I don’t want to give away too much, but you’ll definitely be inspired by the amazing things cat people can do when they come together.
How does it feel going from Cat Rapper to having your own show on a major streaming platform?
I don’t see it the way other people see it. I’m honored by this opportunity, but I’m just me, whether I’m rapping, writing children’s books, doing commercials for Arm And Hammer Slide Cat Litter, or just walking my cats in the park. I keep my head down and I keep doing the work. I think what people like about me is I’m just always myself, what you see is what you get. And I’m only just getting started, there’s more to come.
“Cat People come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and everyone has their own story,” Moshow told us. (📸: Courtesy of Nico Seabright)
What are some things coming up on the horizon for you — events, shoutouts, projects you’re excited about?
First and foremost, “Cat People” airs July 7th on Netflix. I’ve got a whole new lineup of merch I’m releasing on social media and my website. Look out for my meet and greet in Portland on July 17th.
Also, I’m diving back into my love of children’s books. I’ve published 6 children’s books over the years, and we’ve got a couple of new ones in the works now. My last book, “A New Cattitude: An Illustrated Guide to Getting Through Tough Times” continues to help folks who have been affected by the pandemic.
Where can folks find you online and support your work?
Check out my website at iAmMoshow.com where you’ll find links to everything Moshow including my books, merch, and organizations I support. Look me up on Twitch where I stream regularly with shows dedicated to Cat Ladies, Positive Meditations, and good cat vibes.
Be sure to check out “Cat People” on Netflix this July 7. (📸: Courtesy of Nico Seabright)
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