Hot Step Sue


Marcus Duskin


Step right up folks and see little Egypt do her famous dance of the pyramids. She walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly like a reptile. Just one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar. Step right up folks.

Man, check out the wild and crazy licks this kitty is laying down. She’s balling up a storm and wailing so fast and furious that cat is flipping out all over the joint, you dig? She’s got more cool and crazy moves than Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor combined. Heh heh. Gets me to thinking about another wild chick from the pages of history.

It was way back when, before the Nazz swung with his cool jazz and the Mose laid down a groovy jam session with the Almighty up on the mountaintop, there was a kitty who MC’d the greatest show on earth, his majesty herself, Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt. Hot Step Sue, that’s what the cats called her back then. Now you may have seen all kinds of dancing from hip hop to hoe down, but you never dug the kind of the moves that Hot Step swung with. She was fronting the big tent for 22 years, and the whole time walking on hot coals just to hold the whole gig together. A whole lot of cats was bad rapping her, getting the green eye, and making every kind of move to put Hot Step down and blow her whole gig. So you see, this chick had to move quickly just to keep the scene sweet and serene. Now let me tell you how the lick went down.

Hot Step’s swinging daddy was a stud by the name of Tut the First, T1 his buddy cats called him. Now T1 was the biggest, baddest stud stomping around on the groovy green banks of the river Nile at that time. He was the head warrior cat for A-Mose, the head stud in charge AKA the Pharaoh, and his gig was to go around knocking in a few heads and bringing back some looty booty so that his majesty the Pharaoh could keep his party scene at the palace swinging 24/7. Now when A-Mose kicked off, not having a cat to pass on the family business to, he handed it over to T1 to keep the ball rolling. So when T1 put on the big wig, he checks out what’s happening around the empire and decides there’s a little more mopping up to do. So he heads south and puts the shackles on the Nubians, and then makes the same crazy move up north with the Babylonians. And he still has some spare time to bag a few wild elephants while he’s getting his kicks down around Basra. Then he scoffed up all the loose change that was hanging around, burned down a couple of villages in the bargain, and swung on back to Memphis, that’s not in Tennessee, you dig? There he settled down and, being such a tight stud, swung with a dozen or so chicks who was hanging out around the palace. He’s not just getting his kicks, he knows when he goes he’ll need his own baby cat to pass the torch on to. And as it turns out, his #1 baby cat whose mama was T1’s number one chick (I know you’re good at math) was Hot Step Sue. T1’s number two kitty was mama to a baby cat named Tut the Second, T2. Now everyone was hip that T2 would sit in daddy’s big chair one fine day, but then T1 swoops the satellite before everyone’s had a chance to prepare and T2 is still in diapers. So Hot Step steps in to hold down the big chair until the time that her half brother can swing with it. So sooner or later he comes of age and puts on the big wig and the fake beard, and now T2 is doing the Sam the Sham bit. But he can’t hold down the gig very long, he’s got a bad ticker, and he swoops the satellite just a few licks down the pike. So Hot Step’s got to step in again, keeping the chair warm for her nephew Tut the Third, T3, cause he’s just a little bitty baby cat. Well, she got to thinking, “anything you can do I can do better”, and so she eases on down the road to chill with the holy holy cats who run the local soothsaying station, and they hip her that some day soon she’s going hold down the big chair for the duration of her natural born days. So Hot Step says to herself if then why not now, so she puts on the wig and the fake beard and comes on like she’s a chip off the old block of her daddy T1, the baddest cat in the whole wide world, and now all the holy holy cats are hipping everybody that Hot Step is the sweetest, swingingest kitty cat in the whole Nile basin and she’s got the lick down solid.

Now when Hot Step takes over the big chair, she’s hip that she’s going to need a really solid stud to hip the people to what a crazy cool kitty she is. So she makes the scene with this carpenter cat Sen the Mutt, and when Sen’s not swinging with Hot Step in the palace boudoir he’s building all kinds of crazy pads filled with statues of Hot Step, and big stone obelisks reaching for the sky with lovely letters inscribed on them with sweet swinging poetry hipping the people to the beauty and charm of the lady pharaoh. Then Hot Step has Sen build a big swinging temple for the holy holy cats with another statue of Hot Step in a sexy sassy tight little skirt, so you know the scene is swinging now. But now all these studs is getting the green eye, and especially her nephew T3. And the treasury is starting to get a little low because of all these palaces going up, so she’s hip that things are getting a little shaky and she says “It’s fourth down and ten so we’re going to Punt”. And she cuts out for a spell to that magical mystical land of Punt on the horn of Africa, where the ring-a-ding birds sing all day in the ding dong trees and the air is filled with the scent of sweets and spices. When they get to Punt it’s a real party scene and it turns out their head cat is also a kitty name of Queen Ati, who’s coming on bigger and badder and with more moves than Gene Gene the Dancing Machine. And after this big swinging party Hot Step signs off on the world’s first free trade agreement and swings back to Memphis with 31 sapling trees of sweet smelling myrrh and a whole lot of other goodies.

Dig that Hot Step hangs on to the big chair for another 15 licks or so before she swoops the satellite. And when she does Sen the Mutt lays her out in the big beautiful mortuary temple, the grandest of all on the boulevard by the river in the Valley of the Kings, with more color and more grandeur and more spectacle than the Vegas strip today. But T3 is now in charge and he’s still got the green eye for Hot Step. So Sen the Mutt’s got to slip out the back Jack, and in the meanwhile T3 has got all his masonry cats busy tearing down all of Hot Step’s statues and temples and party pads, so that every trace of her will disappear forever from the pages of history. And she’d be forgotten to this day if it wasn’t for some archeology cats who some time ago uncovered her final resting place. And what they found there among other things was a sparkling stone of purple amethyst inscribed “to my sweet swinging Hot Step Sue, the lady Pharaoh, may she be remembered forevermore, love Sen”.