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Big Shaq

By: Josh Weiner

Even the brightest of Britain’s rap stars have often had trouble conquering the U.S. Little came of Lady Sovereign’s stint with Def Jam, despite Jay-Z’s backing. Dizzee Rascal, great as he is, has never quite managed noticeable sales totals in America. But doesn’t mean that Big Shaq, a born-and-raised Londoner, isn’t going to try his luck.

Like so many in this day and age, 27-year-old Michael Dapaah has turned to YouTube as a means of promoting his profile. Somewhere in London, his mockumentary chronicling the adventures of several lads, himself included, around the capital city, has earned him attention over the past year since it originated. During that time, Dapaah has also published a number of tracks and freestyles to his YouTube channel, the most conspicuous of which has been last year’s “Man’s Not Hot.”

Like many of Dapaah’s releases, it is notable for its gleefully goofy lyrics and themes. The song’s premise involves a girl suggesting that Big Shaq remove his jacket and cool off. Her request is repeatedly retorted, on the grounds that “Baby, man’s not hot!” Thus it was that Dapaah discovered his signature artistic catchphrase.

Big Shaq has flown high on the popularity of “Man’s Not Hot.” He performed the track on “1xtra Fire in the Booth,” a BBC Radio program hosted by Charlie Sloth dedicated to urban music. The song now features its own music video, filmed in Miami and featuring a cameo by DJ Khaled, who assures audiences that we have “a legend” on our hands. Big Shaq has also taken it upon him to decipher the lyrics of the song, one by one for his fans.

Hopefully, “Man’s Not Hot” is not what will apply to Big Shaq after just one hit single. Dapaah has the wit, charm and personality to earn further respect and attention.

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