In case you have been away for the past year, comedian Michael Dapaah a.k.a Big Shaq has been hot both online and in the UK charts.
Although he has not literally been hot, as his infectious track ‘Man’s Not Hot’ puts it, he has gone viral.
It was his appearance on Charlie Sloth’s Fire in the Booth that went viral. Since then, Michael has racked up more than 51 million YouTube views and 20 million streams.
From Kurupt FM to Roll Safe – and now Big Shaq – acts combining mockumentaries and music have had huge success in recent years.
Nevertheless, the 26-year-old says there is a thin line between fact and fiction.
“People don’t know whether it’s real or it’s staged and that’s the thing that makes it so interesting to them,” he told the BBC.
“Some people see you and they think that’s actually how you are and then it’s like, ‘Oh, he said hello to me,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, of course’.
“They think I’m Shaq because when I play his character, I embody him so much. I make sure that I’m totally left out of it”.
Still some confusion
Man’s Not Hot is still sitting in the singles chart. However, there’s still a lot of confusion about where Michael Dapaah stops, and Big Shaq begins.
“I’m a creative comedic entertainer”, he said. “I’m not Big Shaq – Shaq is his own person”.
“Big Shaq stems from my YouTube series Somewhere in London,” he explains. “I just wanted to create something that was multi-character and multi-dimensional.
“Kind of how I saw London in my own little way.”
Despite parodying grime and UK rap culture through Big Shaq, some of his biggest supporters are in the UK.
“Giggs, Stormz, Yungen, Santan Dave – all the rappers that are really doing their thing, it’s all been crazy love,” he says.
“Giggs text me the other day just to congratulate me.
“It’s only been some people that haven’t had their big break that have been negative, but even then – that’s like 0.5%.”