Some people have a “side hustle.” That’s a term we hear tossed around a lot. But for our man Shaq, who never does anything small, the side-hustle is practically a full-on second career. We’re talking about his work and play as DJ Diesel, club DJ and rapper. Recently, one of the rappers he did a collab with talked positively about O’Neal’s rapping resume.
In a recent interview with People Magazine, rapper Rick Ross had nothing but good things to say about Shaq and his skills as a musician and rapper. Ross was the man behind the combination of Shaq and another rapper, Meek Mill, for a project called “Too Good To Be True,” which came out a few months ago.
Currently based out of Miami, Ross told People that as far as he was concerned, O’Neal demonstrated, “This really an artist.” On the track “Shaq and Kobe,” O’Neal made several clever references to both his personal fortune, as well as his basketball career. There were lots of interesting clues and stories to have fans falling down all kinds of musical rabbit holes.
Ross: “The more familiar I got with him, you saw him collaborating with New York MCs and it just went on and on. So I respect his gift. So him getting on our joint, him respecting my talent, me putting that Maybach Music piece around his neck, man, that meant a lot. You know what I’m saying? That meant a lot to Rozay.”
In the track, Shaq raps: “Foreign ’round, flyin’ spurs like when I bullied Duncan,” O’Neal rapped. “Did a song with Biggie, it was all a dream / So was ballin’ ’til I made it / Now we own a team.”
Just so you know, “Flyin’ Spurs” pieces together both the Flying Spurs model of the luxury car brand Bentley, as well as O’Neal’s long-time rival Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs. “It was all a dream,” of course, references the smash hit “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G., who joined O’Neal for a guest spot on his 1996 song “You Still Can’t Stop The Reign.” “Now we own the team” is a bit of a stretch for O’Neal, who sold his stakes in the Sacramento Kings in 2022, but we can call it fair game for the sake of a boast in a rap song.
On the same track, Shaq rapped about his old teammate, Kobe Bryant. “I’ma bring the drama till I’m with the Mamba.” Sadly, Bryant, nicknamed the Black Mamba, died in 2020. O’Neal and Bryant had been through a challenging time with the Lakers and afterward, but had patched things up later. O’Neal has talked about how he should have handled his relationship with Kobe differently. He was one of the speakers at Bryant’s celebration of life.
As a thank-you for being on the record, Ross bought a custom chain for O’Neal featuring the logo for Ross’ label Maybach Music Group. Ross told People that getting a chain for a 7-footer like O’Neal requires a little extra work.
“I told them, let’s triple up on it. It ain’t no budget,” Ross told People. “This for the big homie, Shaq Diesel, Shaq Fu…I’m glad the homie enjoyed it. He kept texting me for the next few days.”