Today Shaquille O’Neal has announced his long-inevitable retirement from the NBA and we can only hope that means he’ll be free to resume his hooperistic, freakarific rap career. He might not have been the best baller on the mic, (that would be AlIen Iverson, obviously) but he rapped like he played ball—with a clunky and forceful slowness. But he probably had the best taste. He made actually good songs with the likes of Biggie, Jay, Method Man, RZA, Mobb Deep, Rakim, DJ Quik, Phife Dawg, Redman, Erick Sermon and more (and several with Fu Schnick and Lord Tariq, but still). Though Shaq Diesel retired from the record industry and shut the doors on his TWIsM—The World Is Mine, which seems to be a reference to an obscure gangsta movie—imprint in ’98, he continued to rap awkwardly when he had the chance, as heard on his infamous freestyle in which he taunted then-rival Kobe Bryant for ruining his marriage. Here’s a brief, Youtube assisted look back at some of the highlights of Shaq’s storied rap career, for those of you who don’t yet own his Greatest Hits album.
“Biological Didn’t Bother” (Warren G G-Funk Version) (1994)
“No Hook” f. RZA & Method Man (1994)
“Can’t Stop The Reign” f. Notorious BIG (1996)
“Game Of Death” f. Rakim (1996)
“Kobe, Tell Me How My Ass Taste” Freestyle (2008)
(Shaq’s Jay-Z collab, “No Love,” is not-embeddable.)