Majah Hype: Uniting the Caribbean through Comedy

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Davina Hamilton writes about New York-based comedian (musician, producer, Majah Hype, saying that “the YouTube sensation” prefers to maintain cultural anonymity in a bid to unite all Caribbean nations:

His hilarious YouTube comedy skits see him skillfully (and successfully) impersonating a host of Caribbean accents to play a number of outlandish characters.

But ask Majah Hype where he’s from and he gives nothing away. It’s well-documented that the popular entertainer is based in New York and his video skits make it clear that he has Caribbean connections. Some outlets have reported that the comedian hails from Jamaica. Of that information, he says: “No, that’s not correct” – but he gives nothing more away, even when pressed.

So why does YouTube’s famous funnyman insist on maintaining cultural anonymity? “I do that because I use my platform for the unification of the whole Caribbean, not just one nationality,” he explains. “So I keep it incognito so that I can focus on unifying all the islands and not just one set of people. “How many Bajans and Trinidadians do you know that talk about Marcus Garvey? They talk about their own national heritage, don’t they? So I’m just trying to unify all the nations.” He adds: “When people ask me where I was born, I tell them I was born on a cruise ship on international Caribbean waters!”

Describing himself as “that clown who was always joking around,” Majah Hype’s public persona was born around two years ago when he began posting comical skits on Instagram. People began sharing his videos and soon enough, the hype started to build.

He then began sharing videos on YouTube, introducing wider audiences to his crazy characters – perhaps most notably the miserable dreadlocked Jamaican, Di Rass, who, in one sketch, was determined to sue his neighbour for allegedly trying to work ‘obeah’ (witchcraft) on him.

But aside from portraying this rebellious Rasta, Majah Hype unleashed a host of sketches, in which he demonstrated his sublime skill when it comes to impersonating different Caribbean accent.

In one sketch titled West Indian Substitute Teachers, he delivers hilariously outlandish portrayals of how a Bajan, Guyanese, Jamaican, Haitian and Grenadian supply teacher might behave. And each accent is seriously spot on.

[. . .] From the Haitian who is always working (even on Christmas Day), to the Bajan who frequently exclaims ‘cheese on bread’, to the weed-smoking Jamaican, Majah Hype says it is his intention to draw on these cultural clichés. “One of the main purposes of what I do is to make fun of those stereotypes,” he confirms. “Not every Jamaican smokes weed and not every Trinidadian likes carnival, you know what I mean? So that’s what I make jokes about.

“American people and I guess people in Britain who don’t have Caribbean connections, don’t really know much about Caribbean people. So everyone they hear speak with a Caribbean accent gets placed under one umbrella. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because it unifies us, but it’s a bad thing because obviously there are things that are specific to each island.

[. . .] A multi-talented entertainer, Majah Hype also performs stand-up comedy, plays a host of different instruments (his main instrument is alto saxophone) and has produced music for reggae stars including Gyptian and Tarrus Riley. [. . .]

For full article, see http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/majah-hype-uniting-caribbean-through-comedy

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