Shaquille O’Neal‘s love for Hip Hop has never been a secret, and for the first time since the late ’90s, Shaq Diesel is rapping again — listen to “King Talk” below.
Teaming up with Blackway for the Koko-produced “King Talk,” the NBA Hall-of-Famer’s new track arrived on Tuesday (May 2) with the NBA Playoffs in full swing.
Shaq previously teased the track on social media while celebrating LeBron James passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s scoring record in February.
Fans have been wondering about the song’s entirety in the months between and DJ Diesel has now delivered.
“Koko and I have been sending beats back and forth for a minute now and after he played me this one, I knew I had to jump on it,” Shaq explained. “I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment for a collab with Blackway and this was it. This is the type of record that gets me hyped like I’m walking out for Game 7 of the Finals.
“The lyrics and vibe of this track was so perfect for the moment when LeBron James set the NBA scoring record and I knew I had to share it with the world — a king recognizes a king. It was crazy to see so many people connect with the song when they heard the teaser, just like I did when we created it.”
Shaq is no stranger to the rap world having signed with Jive Records upon being drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992, and releasing his debut album Shaq Diesel the following year; he was the first NBA star with a platinum plaque.
O’Neal released four solo studio LPs in total with the latter pair coming from a deal with Interscope Records. He hasn’t delivered a studio album since 1998 while also providing soundtracks to movies like Kazaam and Steel in the ’90s as well.
During an interview with Drink Champs last year, Shaq explained there wasn’t enough money in music for him to continue pursuing the career while in the NBA.
“And not to disrespect you guys, it wasn’t enough money in that for me,” he said. “I went platinum right, and they showed me the check, and I was like, this some bullshit.”
Earlier this year, Yelawolf also saluted Shaq for being one of the “biggest supporters” in his career.
“Honored to say @shaq’s been one of my biggest and personally most impactful supporters,” Yela wrote. “He made me ( and I do mean made me ) meet him at a club in ATL years back when TrunkMuzik just hit .. and he told me ‘Wolf your gonna have lots of haters .. but never stop doing you !!’ .. it was surreal.”
He continued: “SHAQ for one has a king like presence let alone giving you some big homie advice .. that Always stuck with me though .. and I haven’t even mentioned it til today .. love you SHAQ .. thank you for that moment and thank you for this post GNG !!! even I forget from time to time how this all started in the first place !! POP THE TRUNK.”