Every week, a slew of new music videos hits the web. Watching them at your desk is not time theft because you deserve it; think of it as a nice reward for surviving another work week. But what if you don’t have time to watch every video — maybe you have a deadline, a hungry pet, or other grown-up concerns. In consideration of your schedule, Lizzie and Kaitlyn bring you a series called One Video. Each week we’ll tell you “one video” you need to watch, why, and for how long.
This week’s video: “Man’s Not Hot” by Big Shaq
Lizzie: Wow, what a week. And by that I mean, “Oh my God, here with are with another installment of One Video.” Time just keeps going! Speaking of time, the winner this week basically just ran out the clock until the One Video team was like, “Well, we’ve gotta pick something, and Kendrick Lamar isn’t doing us any favors today.”
That’s how we got here, with “Man’s Not Hot.”
Kaitlyn: It’s true. In a groggy early morning Instagram scroll, I erroneously assumed that SZA’s post about hanging out with Kendrick Lamar in the desert meant that there would be a “Doves in the Wind” video to watch today, but, like so many things that seem possible after the sun comes up but before the inbox hits — it was only a dream.
We were also forced to consider a Photoshop tutorial from the dudes of Spoon, an extremely expensive still-life painting of Taylor Swift re-enacting the Evil Kermit meme in a space assassin costume, and a violin solo by a ghost. In the end, we settled on “Man’s Not Hot” because it had the best storyline: it’s about a man who’s not hot, even when wearing full arctic outerwear inside a glamorous Friendly’s and even when wearing socks, sandals, and sweatpants on a Miami beach. He should be studied by scientists!
Who is Big Shaq?
Lizzie: Big Shaq, aka Roadman Shaq, is a character created by the British comedian Michael Dapaah. Last month, his freestyle on BBC Radio 1Xtra went viral because of lines like “Two plus two is four, minus one that's three, quick maths” and a long, sloppy gunshot onomatopeia.
Kaitlyn: This is a very flexible meme, and was used to make light fun of Instagram star Rupi Kaur’s debut poetry collection Milk and Honey, multiple choice exam questions, and Adele. My suspicion is that Dapaah’s catchphrase-riddled tune was inspired in part by a musical number from one of the best comedies of 2016, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. In it, Andy Samberg’s character records a rap verse called “The Catchphrase Verse,” and it goes like this:
“It's Conner, bitch / Say word / D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-Dilbert / Doink-de-doink, sorry dad/ Dinky nuts, squirrel jam, HATS! / Balancing my checkbook / Zerbert in the sherbet, squark / One hundred gift baskets / You're now rocking with the Tesla boys / Sleepy Benjamin Franklin, watch me veg / DJ Tanner, swanky pumps, m-m-m-m-moped music / Costco samples like a motherfucker / Uh, crank up the mids, Patrick Stewart money / You know who it is, Conner4Real.”
Wow! Please wait until you’re done reading this article before you run off to create your own Popstar-inspired art.
What’s special about “Man’s Not Hot?”
Lizzie: The video for “Man’s Not Hot” has more than 4 million views, and Big Shaq isn’t even a real person. Dapaah, however, is a real person, and he’s milking the power of the internet’s meme-makers for all its worth before we collectively decide to move on. In keeping with the song’s theme (man’s not hot), Big Shaq keeps his winter jacket on for the entire video: while at the beach, eating elaborate ice cream sundaes, and doing pull-ups.
Dapaah even managed to convince DJ Khaled, who has now staked his entire career on his ability to remain a meme, to be in the video. They take a selfie together.
Kaitlyn: DJ Khaled tells Big Shaq, “They don’t want us to win so we’re gonna win more.” It’s one of his better catchphrases. I hope it’s true.
Lil Yachty is also briefly in the video for “Man’s Not Hot,” presumably to support a fellow internet success story. What’s special about the video, overall, is the idea that any person can make themselves famous based on any element of their personality. This guy got famous for wearing jackets a lot and being okay at simple arithmetic. What could you become famous for? Drinking coffee? Combing your hair? Putting peanut butter on one piece of bread and then jelly on another? Tweeting complaints about the subway at New York governor Andrew Cuomo? It’s all possible.
How long everyone should watch “Man’s Not Hot” by Big Shaq:
Lizzie: You don’t need to watch the entire thing. I think if you watch from 2:20 to 3:00 you’ll get a pretty good sense of things and maybe be able to walk away without the phrase “Babes, man’s not hot” stuck in your head. At this point, that’s all we can hope for.
Kaitlyn: Additionally, you should watch the part at 1:24 where Big Shaq says “my man’s got a frisbee.” To back up his claim, the man he is referring to goes ahead and throws a frisbee into the sky.
How many friends do you have who carry around props for the sole purpose of affirming all of your statements? Not enough, I would guess. Have a good weekend anyway.