Almost Famous: Why Being A Hype Man Is My Only Career Goal
Rap music has unofficially been labeled the sound of our generation.
For those of us who spend our days blasting the rhymes of Kendrick Lamar and Drake, we can somewhat come to an agreement that the most essential sound on the track is the voice of the "hype man."
For those of you new to the rap game, let me explain.
According to IGN, the hype man is "partnered with a lead rapper or group," and he is "the designated go-to guy for ad-libs and introductions on records; he's also responsible for keeping the crowd stoked during live shows."
This is most commonly seen at rap concerts, when a 20-person entourage follows the rapper you actually paid to see on to the stage.
One or more of these homies will be the hype man, who was lucky enough to be given a microphone.
He will inject here and there and echo the lyrics the artist just spit.
If we'e really lucky, he'll give us the go to say, "Yeah!" or "I feel you!"
However, in this new day and age, the hype man's duties do not end there.
The hype man will occasionally be asked to be the voice of reason in the back of a track.
My favorite words of wisdom come from Drake's hype man in the single, "Come Thru."
When Drake states, "Someone put in an order for a chicken," a loud voice in the back goes, "For a chicken!"
This single musical experience had me searching the web in an attempt to find an email address where I could forward my résumé to be considered for the position.
I've gone and graduated from a respectable university, but the dream has always been — and forever will be — to be the hype man on a track.
See, colleges don't teach courses on how to be the "homie in the back," so I had to take the research into my own hands.
What is the job exactly?
As previously stated, my duties would include entertaining and keeping the crowd "hyped" for my fellow performer.
If I did that well enough, I could have my own .05 seconds on a track (aka a promotion).
What kind of people are considered for the position?
Most often than not, you have to be the "life of the party" kind of person. You're responsible for making sure there's never a dull moment on stage.
You need to be ready to do the unexpected and most importantly entertain.
So, you would need to be an outgoing, DGAF type of person to even be considered.
How much does the job pay, and are benefits included?
Depending on how popular the artist you work for is, the job can pay a couple of hundred to almost a few million dollars.
I'm still not sure if you get medical and dental benefits, but you know I'm not that worried.
Where and how do I apply for the job?
This is the where my dream came to a screeching halt.
For most rappers, especially mainstream rappers, their hype man is someone they've known from before the fame.
It's usually a friend they grew up with and someone who has been part of the process from the beginning.
Considering I currently do not have a single foot in the rap game and know no aspiring rappers (my little brother does not count), I'm not sure what my next step should be.
Should I start harassing rappers on Twitter?
@chancetherapper you feel like taking a chance on me? #yourfutureHYPEMAN
No, I can't go down that rabbit hole just yet.
So, I've decided to put the dream on pause for a minute. Until then, I'm building up my résumé.
I'm going to be the life of every party I attend.
I'm going to learn all the lyrics to every Drake song, so I'll be ready when I do receive the call.
I'm going to attend all my friends' sporting events and cheer for them from start to finish.
I'm not giving up on this dream just yet.
The day will come when someone will need a female voice to say, "For a chicken!" in the back of a track, and I'll be so ready.