BIG SHA…MICHAEL DAPAAH
WRITTEN BY CHARLES ODUGBESAN
Michael Dapaah was without a doubt one of the big winners of 2017.
To the unknown, the London born creative is better known by his persona Big Shaq: a comic, wannabe musician whose antics have literally been taking the world by storm in the last few months. In a move similar to Kayode Ewumi and his character Roll Safe two years ago, Big Shaq became a viral hit in late August after delivering a hilarious Fire in the Booth segment with Charlie Sloth. Of course the segment was hilarious and knowing the power of the internet, we’d have expected weeks, even months of ongoing jokes based off of it. But it became so popular it got the point where you had people at house parties, at nightclubs, everywhere you went snapchatting the whole room scream ‘THE TING GO SKRAAAAA’ sound effect for sound effect.
Further still, Big Shaq caught the eye of superstars across the pond like Shaquille O’neal, Drake and DJ Khaled. A month after the Fire in the Booth, a rendition of the segment entitled Man’s Not Hot was released on iTunes and to this day is still charted in the Top 10 in the U.K. Fast forward another month to October 25th and Big Shaq officially drops his first music video for Man’s Not Hot. And well… 75 million views for a comedy act isn’t too shabby.
A host of appearances for Michael Dapaah from hosting the Rated Awards, to The Breakfast Club on New York radio, to Soccer AM back in the U.K is both a testament to how meteoric his rise to fame has been in the last few months and that right now he’s a very hot topic in popular culture.
Here’s a few issues I have though.
Do people know about the graft Michael Dapaah has been putting in? For months he had generated a good buzz from his online series ‘Somewhere in London’ (SWIL) in which Big Shaq was one of a host of characters that featured in the sketches. Big Shaq just happened to be the character that really grabbed our attention and put him over. Michael has been showing potential in comedy, acting and writing for a while now.
Do people even know his name? I wonder how many people will see him on tv/social media somewhere and say ‘oh that’s that Big Shaq guy’ before anything else. I’m pretty sure there are people that may even believe that his real name is Shaq. The danger for Dapaah now is that people may only see him or want to see his character. If you happened to have caught his Breakfast Club interview, Charlemagne tha God is a primeee example. The difficulty at this early stage in his career is after he rides this wave, how can he really separate himself from this persona and stand alone as Michael Dapaah, instead of being the London born creative better known as Big Shaq.
Which brings me to the question, What’s next? I’m pretty sure he knows. But the question needs asking. People these days have short attention spans and after another 4/5 months Big Shaq will be a distant memory to the public. The next challenge for Michael (now that he has his foot in the door) is building upon these foundations and giving us something new. New sketches, bigger roles, new characters, new series… movies? Whatever it may be, let’s hope that when he returns back to planet Earth after this upward rise that he hits the ground running.
2017 was a huge success for Michael Dapaah. Now let’s see what one of Britain’s fine young talents can do going forward!!