Comedian Michael Dapaah on ‘Man’s Not Hot’, his massive viral hit as character Big Shaq

For the record: he didn't take off his jacket

The ting goes skrrrrrrrrrah pap pap kak kak kak!!

‘Man’s Not Hot’  has been streamed more than 74 million streams on Spotify, and more than 100 million people have watched the globe-trotting YouTube video. It became a bonafide phenomenon in 2017, getting shouted out by politicians and inspiring a million memes.

The parody grime track is delivered by inept rapper Big Shaq, a character played and created by comedian Michael Dapaah. He sat down with NME to explain the origins of the track, and the evolution of the character.

“I think he’s a relatable character,” Dapaah told us. “No matter where you are in the world, you will see a young person – sometimes they’ve grown up in unfortunate circumstances, sometimes it’s just bad company, sometimes it’s peer pressure – but they’re a young person that’s not necessarily bad, but they find themselves messing up in life. They’re just around, they’re out here, doing whatever, trying different things.”

He continued: “Even if you don’t ‘get’ everything, you’ll see something that you understand. You’ll be like, ‘Oh snap! I’ve seen someone like that.'”

Big Shaq first became an internet star when he appeared on ‘Fire in the Booth’, the BBC 1Xtra show presented by radio host Charlie Sloth. He stumbled hilariously through the track – and straight, readers, into our hearts. Dapaah reveals that he always expected the appearance to go viral in the UK, but was surprised that it reached the rest of the world.

“With the fire in the booth,” he said, “I always expected it to do well within UK borders… But the fact that it started crossing over, that was what was mad. It went to different places all around the world… It’s great to see music and something you’ve created travel so far and be appreciated by some many different cultures and so many different people.”

He concluded: “When people meet [me], they always meet [me] with a smile on their face.”