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Influential Track - Man's Not Hot

posted Nov 19, 2020, 9:13 PM by Maxwell Bao
Bao, M: "Man's Not Hot"--Big Shaq[2017]

The track "Man's Not Hot" started off as a caricature of hip-hop culture in the UK, freestyled (maybe off the dome) on popular European radio show, Fire In The Booth. In the booth was a British comedian, disguised in one of his personas, Big Shaq.

Why is "Man's Not Hot" so unique? First off, the rapper Big Shaq is meant to be an overstylized "roadman," a regional term describing a British street thug, which is utilized to reveal many tropes and trends in contemporary UK hop-hop, through his mannerisms in the music video and lyrics. One of the two major motifs in the track is living in a cold world and having an icy personality, a familiar theme throughout hip-hop. The phrase "Man's Not Hot" is spat many times in the track, which the opposite of hot, is cold. He is also shown wearing a heavy parka while touring the Miami beaches in the summer, which is meant to reinforce the idea that despite the warm, tropical physical climate, he is still figuratively cold, due to the unsympathetic nature of living as a street thug, and the icy attitude he must take on so that he doesn't get caught lackin'. The other motif is the interest in violence. The chorus of "Man's Not Hot," (if you could even call it a chorus) is Big Shaq's articulations of what he believes guns to sound like. He makes such utterances so intensely and repetitively to put up a show of bravado. Why? Because it's vital to him and his firm's (regional term for gang) status. If he can convince others that he and his firm do not hesitate to let "the ting go skraaaaht," it creates a fierce image, leading enemies to shy away, protecting themselves from threats.

Again, why is Big Shaq's "Man's Not Hot" so dominant, a supposed joke freestyle reaching #3 in the UK Singles Chart and international popularity? He uses humorous styling and lyricism in his music to illustrate the more solemn parts of hip-hop culture, which is not something that not many, if any, rappers have done before.