SIDNEY —“Boy oh boy, it’s that time of the year. Time for the presents. Time for the cheer. Times for the lights. Time for the reindeer. Is that bells I hear?” — Hanksta
He’s at it again. But this time the Sidney native, Sean LeMaster, aka Hanksta, is rapping to “celebrate the birth of the Lord.” His newest video, called “Hot Cocoa,” is another funny and light hearted video that focuses on Christmas time.
LeMaster’s first comedic rap video, “The Sickest,” released on YouTube in October 2017, pays homage to his beloved hometown of Sidney and serves as a tribute to his late cousin, Maria LeMaster, who died in June 2016.
Last year, “The Sickest” quickly gained popularity and racked up close to 16,000 views after being shared on people’s Shelby, Miami and Darke counties’ Facebook pages.
“I was thinking, ‘Man, I would love to do this again and repeat the success of the first video.’ I was thinking of ways to get everyone interested with things I also enjoy. Christmas was the first thing that came to mind. I love Christmas and I thought it would be a fun video and do something silly,” LeMaster, of Piqua, said.
“The feedback received on “The Sickest” was awesome. It meant a lot to my family,” he said.
“Hot Cocoa,” was released on YouTube, Dec. 8, 2018 and has gained about 1,400 views so far.
Most of the video, featuring LeMaster as an elf, a Christmas caroler and even a marshmallow floating in a cup of hot cocoa, among other amusing characters, was shot last Christmas. But the finishing touches were completed recently after realizing something was missing.
LeMaster wrote the video, lyrics and most of the scenes, but got cinematography help from Josh Bryant of Josh Bryant Media, of Piqua. The various scenes were shot in Piqua and Sidney.
“It was a lot of work in one day. Just like the Sidney video, most of it was shot over a nine hour day,” LeMaster said.
And two weeks before the release of “Hot Cocoa,” LeMaster also released “I’m Gump;” a similarly funny video inspired by the movie “Forrest Gump.” “I’m Gump” was also shot by Bryant.
“Everybody likes that movie, “Forrest Gump.” It’s my second favorite movie of all time. It’s just one of the movies I’ve watched the most over my life. I love that movie. I love it for a million reasons. And there is so much comedy in it, I just kind of draw the comedy out of it. Of course I add my own little flavor to it,” he said with a chuckle.
“I’m Gump” was also shot in both Sidney and Piqua at notable landmarks, such as the Shelby County Court House or Piqua Alexander Stadium. LeMaster said Tray Taylor, a well known MMA fighter from Sidney, is also featured in Gump video as Bubba.
LeMaster and his wife Danielle have three girls together, ages 6, 10, and 12. He laughed when he said that his children are used to his funny behavior, and suspects they assume all dads are like him.
“I enjoy entertaining people. Over being a rapper, I think I would rather be considered an entertainer first,” LeMaster said of what inspired him to make the videos.
Although he has no plans to leave his job working in a Fort Loramie manufacturing shop, LeMaster said he would love to see where it could go with the entertainment aspect.
He said his wife thinks the videos are cool and is “surprisingly very supportive,” despite not making money on them with the out of pocket cost involved.
“If I could keep doing this I would love to. And I have a couple other ideas for 2019. There is a good chance I’m going to keep doing it. And if I can continue the success, then I will,” LeMaster said.
Hanksta’s video, “Hot Cocoa” can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiFnGXjB2wQ
His “I’m Gump” video can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91An3vgCteI
Reach the writer at (937) 538-4823.