Shaq Talks Hip Hop & Says Jay Z, Notorious B.I.G. Were His Favorites To Work With
His rap career may have been placed on pause, but music still runs through Shaquille O’Neal’s veins. The NBA legend will go down as one of the greatest players in Los Angeles Lakers history, but Shaq Diesel also boasts quite the music career. He released four studio albums between 1993 and 1998, and he’s worked with some of the top hip hop artists in the rap game. When the 47-year-old recently caught up with Baller Alert, Shaq talked about what artists he’s currently listening to.
“The good thing about me, especially me being a DJ. I like all types of music,” Shaq said. “So, right now I’m listening to Joyner Lucas, his new one “Isis.” Chris Brown and Drake just dropped a hot one. But a lot of the times I go back to the old school stuff. Like, for some reason I been on Earth, Wind and Fire and Mobb Deep lately, and I just mix it up. Matter fact, today I’ma start my Justin Timberlake phase, I’ma probably listen to “Cry Me A River” about 100 times, so I just like all types of music.”
So, are we ever going to get more music from Shaq? “I got about 20 unreleased tracks, I may do something with it,” he said be mentioning that he once performed with Notorious B.I.G. “It was one summer [Biggie] had me come up there with him. The crowd went crazy. It was great. Him and Jay Z are probably the two greatest guys I worked with. And the best producer I probably ever worked with in the studio was DJ Quik. DJ Quik is nice.”
Shaq isn’t the only basketball star to try his hand as a rapper (remember Kobe Bryant’s song with Tyra Banks?), but when asked what he thought of other ballers stepping into the hip hop scene, Shaq didn’t want to say anything negative. “It ain’t my job to judge who’s good and who’s not,” Shaq said diplomatically. “We all come from the same place. Basketball and hip hop definitely come from the same place. It’s just that when I was doing it, my concept was nobody wants to hear a guy rap, who’s not a rapper, do a whole album.”
He continued, “So my concept was for me, being in the dream-filled attraction state that I was in, I want to rap with my favorite guys and nobody has ever turned me down. Nobody has ever charged me and nobody has ever denied a song that I’ve did with them, so I think that speaks for itself. I’ve done Jay Z. I’ve done Nas. I’ve done Mob Deep. I’ve done Method Man. I’ve done RZA. I’ve done Notorious B.I.G. I’ve done Fat Joe. Big Pun. DJ Quik. Snoop Dogg. Dub C. Ice Cube. Peter Gunz. Lord Tariq. Tribe Called Quest. Phife Dawg. It don’t get no better than that.”