Bag of Tricks Cat

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Arizona-based underground rapper whose name is belied by his down-to-earth character; has recorded with Mega Ran, D12, and Smoke DZA.
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An underground rapper whose name belies his non-gimmicky approach, Bag of Tricks Cat is proudly based in Arizona but has performed abroad and collaborated with fellow MCs including Philadelphian Mega Ran, Detroiters D12, and New Yorker Smoke DZA. Among his releases are The Cat That Never Came Down (2014), Emerald Knights: The Album (2015), and Felix Chevrolet (2019), the last of which featured his grandmother, Ann Bennett.

Bag of Tricks Cat is the alias of Michael Gamarano, a native of Glendale, Arizona. Music runs through his family. His grandmother is Ann Bennett, a jazz singer who performed the original theme for the cartoon Felix the Cat. Bennett taught him to read -- sometimes using rhymes -- and years later, as her grandson became involved with music, provided guidance on performing and navigating the industry. Active in hip-hop since 2012, Gamarano made his proper debut two years later with The Cat That Never Came Down, an EP he promoted in the U.K. by touring with Philadelphia's Mega Ran. The two rappers subsequently teamed up to record Emerald Knights: The Album, released in 2015. Gamarano followed up in 2016 with the solo release Cat's Out of the Bag, though guest verses were abundant, supplied by Mega Ran and Detroit's D12, among several others. After a 2018 sequel to Emerald Knights, Gamarano worked on an EP with the likes of his grandmother and Smoke DZA. The eight-track set, titled Felix Chevrolet, was out in 2019, with Ann Bennett featured on its last two songs.