When it comes to pop culture figures that rappers love to reference in their songs, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal stands head and shoulders above the rest — literally, in most cases. Not only does he have an extensive hoop, film, and rap career to draw lyrical comparisons to, but there is a wealth of words that rhyme with “Shaq” — not to mention, his many, many nicknames. The Big Diesel, who’s now best-known for his nightly hoops analysis on NBA on TNT, tried his hand at breaking down some of the bars about him from rap titans like Biggie, Cardi B, Drake, and Jay-Z for Genius’s Between The Lines.
Throughout the course of the video, Shaq gives his impression of the many, many rap lines about him. Nas’s “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” was one of the first songs to make reference to O’Neal (more precisely, to the way “Shaquille holds the pill”), blowing the then-NBA sophomore’s mind, while Mannie Fresh’s “Still Fly” line about buying a car from him turns out to be a true story. Shaq also notes he wasn’t bugged by Biggie’s line about losing money on Lakers games from “I Love The Dough” because it too was based on the performance of the Lakers in their first three playoffs appearances with Shaq on the team, plus due to BIG’s contribution to Shaq’s own album — which he naturally gets into as well.
There’s plenty more to talk about; watch the full video up top.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.