Comedian Micheal Dapaah, otherwise known as the viral sensation “Big Shaq,” has become the latest fixation of the Hip Hop world. It all started with a freestyle on BBC Radio 1Xtra at the end of August, when Dapaah, acting as the Roadman Shaq character from his mockumentary series Somewhere in London, spit a verse of epically hilarious proportions. It launched all those “The Ting Goes” memes and became a hit named “Man’s Not Hot,” leading to the kind of fame of which most aspiring rappers can only dream.
Dapaah, who rechristened Roadman Shaq as “Big Shaq,” revealed how his interactions with Drake and DJ Khaled have given him insight into staying humble as his stock rises, how he felt when he first hit a million views, and the importance of the distinction between his real self and the “Big Shaq” character in the latest installment of Cycle’s “Inner Circle” interview series.
The experiences that Dapaah has had with some of Hip Hop’s elite have helped remind him to stay humble throughout the fame. After talking about how pleasantly surprised he was that DJ Khaled posed for a picture with him, Dapaah opened up about how his conversations with Drake have shown him how some other artists can think too much of themselves. “Drake will respond to, let’s say a DM, quicker than somebody else that’s not even a quarter as famous as him, or has a quarter of his influence,” he explains. “It just goes to show that some people let the hype over gas them.”
He later reveals how he implements what he’s learned about etiquette from his encounters with genre powerhouses like Drake and DJ Khaled. “I look at it more as cool, that’s what I can pick up from them in terms of learning and humility and how to carry myself, and express gratitude,” he admits.
Dapaah’s YouTube channel had been relatively quiet before his “Man’s Not Hot”-related content made him a star overnight. The trailers for new installments of his comedy series and music videos had garnered some interest, but he hadn’t been able to crack a million views. When he finally hit his milestone, he was ecstatic. “I remember I was so gassed — or excited per se — because I have a vision board in my room and that was one of the things on my vision board,” he says.
He also spoke about how people unfamiliar with him as a person believe that “Big Shaq” is an extension of him, when really it’s a separate character altogether. “Sometimes, it is possible to get lost in the sauce, that’s why it’s important for me to conduct interviews as myself so that people can get the connection with me as an individual,” he says. “It’s still important for me to do stuff as Micheal because I don’t ever want to get caught up in this whirlwind where people only want to see that character.”
Check out Dapaah’s interview with Cycle above.