Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- A hip-hop performer responsible for backup rapping and singing and increasing an audience’s excitement with call-and-response chants.
- 1988: Lee Hildebrand San Francisco Chronicle (Apr. 3) “M.C. Hammer Nails Down A Royal Reputation” p. 42: Hammer and the Posse, a group consisting of four dancers, two DJs and one hype man (“He’s the guy who pumps the crowd up,” Hammer explained), hope to win over rap fans.
- 1995 Richard Payton Usenet: rec.music.hip-hop (Aug. 30) “Re: Suge Vs Puffy”: Puff is up on stage with Biggie rappin’ almost as much as Biggie. He’s not just the hype man on stage goin’ Yea Yea, he’s rappin’ whole verses.
- 2004 Jordan Harper Riverfront Times (St. Louis, Mo.) (May 26) “I Love a Parade: Radar Station hitches a ride with great big rappers”: Hype men, for those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, are the fellas you see at rap shows who stand next to MCs and bellow certain words along with the rap to add emphasis.
- 2004: Mills appeared first, performing with a hype man (someone who exorts the crowd and sings along with key lines) and a disk jockey. — The New Yorker August 9 & 16, 2004, p.100