Sign language interpreter Holly Maniatty stole the show during a Snoop Dogg concert at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 6 (video below).
The Good Life Radio Show posted a video on Facebook of Dogg performing the profanity-filled "P.I.M.P." song (by 50 Cent), while Maniatty stood at the front of the stage signing the expletives and bopping to the groove; the video has gone viral with 16 million views since May 6.
Maniatty has some hardcore rap credibility, having signed for Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Killer Mike and the Wu-Tang Clan, People reports.
Noisey interviewed Maniatty in 2013 after gaining attention at the Bonnaroo festival:
It's a little overwhelming because I don't think of myself as in front of people. I guess I am in front of a lot of people but I'm always so absorbed in doing a good job -- it's just about the deaf patrons who are there. I hope it spreads the word that Bonnaroo has an accessible festival and amazing interpreters that come from all over the country. Plus, a lot of people have the idea that rap music cannot be interpreted. But it can be done. It's a lot of work, but it can be done.
Maniatty also recalled how she prepared for shows:
I can tell you how I prepare for concerts. It's different for every interpreter, but I happen to totally dig Wu-Tang. I spent about 50-80 hours studying their music, going online and watching interviews with them, and reading every possible thing I could about their background and where they're from and all that kind of stuff to get to know them as intimately as performers as I can.
There were multiple interpreters working that show because there are so many of them. I would take on person and the other would take one and we go back and forth.
One thing that myself and the other girl in the video, Jenn Abbott, is that we do a lot of research. We watch a lot of videos on them performing live. We do a lot of research on where they came from and in the process of that, learning where they move on stage, and how they hold their body, how they hit a beat really hard, or a word of a song really hard, and how they annunciate their body. We do a lot of that and you know a lot of listening to the music and a lot of research where they came from.
So, if they’re from New York City, we try to use directional signs from specific areas where they are from, so it’s a genuine experience for them to have. There’s a bunch of different signs for "gang" or "brother" or "brotha," you know?
It’s a lot about your body, the persona, and the gesticulation of the persona in your work. Like during "Bring Da Ruckus," he was hunched over and internally bringing it in and that’s how I was signing. If you were looking at me, I should mimicking the same body posture as he does.
Warning: Graphic language and signing