"It’s not really a story - it’s a lifestyle.”
Big Shaq’s the man of the moment, or at the very least, man of the memes. His first single ‘Mans Not Hot’ has amassed over 3 million global streams, and his appearance on Fire in the Booth was a viral hit, spawning countless parodies and high profile fans. Even Jeremy Corbyn referenced him at this year’s Labour party conference; but who is Big Shaq?
A creation by British comedian Michael Dapaah, the overnight success is a character from his online comedy series ‘Somewhere In London’. After a hugely successful appearance on Fire in the Booth, where Dapaah, as Big Shaq, freestyled “The girl told me, ‘Take off your jacket’ / I said, ‘Babes, man’s not hot’” the viral trend was born.
We sat down with Big Shaq himself to find out what it’s like becoming the hottest thing in music.
So, tell us how you wrote ‘Man’s Not Hot’?
“Boom, basically – everywhere I go I wear my jacket babes – do you know what I’m sayin’? So it’s like, it’s just me telling my story. It doesn’t matter where I am, what I do, whether I’m in the sauna, whether I’m on the beach, whether I’m with my girl at the spa – man’s never hot. It’s that simple. It’s not really a story – it’s a lifestyle.”
It obviously started with your appearance on Fire in the Booth with Charlie Sloth, what does he think of it all?
“Charlie Sloth AKA Big Charles. Charles is happy. He’s just happy that obviously it’s come from his show – do you know what I’m sayin’ – his price has gone up.”
Could you two ever collab?
Well, you know – all Charlie knows how to do is press buttons. There can’t be no collaboration, unless he can sing – and I don’t think Charles can sing.
Any plans for another song?
“Alright, we might make a winter thing called ‘Man’s Not Cold’.”
What’s the overnight success been like?
“The girls when they see me now, they take a bit more time to look at me. You know, whereas before they might of just looked once, now they’re looking like three or four times you know.”
Do you think the world was ready for ‘Man’s Not Hot’?
“The world’s never ready, because the world gets hot; but man never gets hot – do you get what I’m sayin? Man can be in Sahara desert – but I’m still going to wear the jacket.
What about with climate change, will you still wear the coat then?
“Man don’t know about no climate. Man does climbing – I don’t do climate. Man climb up the stairs and that. Climb to my bed and that – bunk bed ting.”
What was it like when Jeremy Corbyn quoted you?
“Man like Jeremy Corbyn, you know what like, big up Jeremy Corby.”
How would you react if another politician like Nigel Farage, said he liked your songs?
“Man don’t know Nigel Frappe, I don’t know him.”
What about Theresa May?
“Theresa, she wouldn’t say that because she does get hot. I’ve seen her taking off her blazer and that. But Jeremy Corbyn has always got his jacket on, so he understands. Why is her surname not June, July or August? Why is it May? Because it’s not always May during the year, that’s like calling me like Shaq January. Makes no sense. What kind of name is that? I don’t think that’s a real name but anyway.”
You’ve had quite a lot of famous fans as well – Liam Gallagher tweeted you…
“That’s my guy there. Hold tight man like Gallagher.”
How do you feel about the Noel and Liam beef?
“The beef is not needed. Why are you lot beefing? You don’t need to beef. Put it aside, because everyone likes wearing puffas you get me? Let’s wear the puffas, let’s go for lunch – do you know what I’m sayin? Puffa gang.”
And apparently Drake is a fan as well?
“Drake, that’s my brother right there. Big Drizzy. That’s my guy there – he shows me a lot of love. We soon link up and we’re gonna do something special.”
Are you ever going to collaborate with him, what’s the plan?
“Who knows? We never leak too much information, you know. The birds are watching. The owls are active.”
Who’s your favourite rapper at the moment?
Apart from yourself.
Any others you like at the moment?
“S-H-A-Q. Yeah, B.I.G.”
And any messages you want to pass onto your fans?
“I appreciate the support, like – do you know what I’m sayin? Big up yourself, yeah? Make sure that when you’re going out, you wear socks, because I’ve been seeing some people coming out with no socks and that. You know, your toes looking like Cheetos, we don’t need all of that. Make sure you stick to one barber, do you know what I’m sayin? Don’t cheat on your barber cos some of you lots hairlines are looking a bit mad – but obviously I appreciate you because you’re supporters. And brush your teeth twice a day. That’s it.”