Weeks of speculation ended today when Pitchfork announced a special guest for the opening night of their summer Music Festival. To celebrate the 18th anniversary of its release, the underrated Shaq Diesel will be performed in full by Shaquille O’Neal. From first track to last track, “Intro” to “Game Over,” Shaq will leave no cut untouched by his oversized skills.
Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber gave the following insight into this unprecedented choice:
“Shaq’s flow is so idiosyncratic, a result of his limited breath control. On his debut we witness this massive man working his way through nimble, if playfully banal, punchlines that are so at odds with his physical frame. You’re watching a man struggling in the moment of creation. In a way, it’s analogous to the current movement in hip-hop and r&b production that emphasizes lo-fi sounds—unpolished, wobbly synths and blurry, weary sonic backgrounds. But with Shaq Diesel, the most lo-fi element is the emcee himself. He sounds so angry on standout track “Shoot Pass Slam.” Do we, the listeners, want him to shoot it? Pass it? Slam it? They become crucial questions. You feel him straining against the expectations of celebrity, against his own voice and mouth. I mean, how large must this man’s tongue be? There’s a clear path to be traced from Shaq to the boys in Odd Future, Tyler especially.”
There is no word as to whether Def Jef will make an appearance to wreck his guest verse on “(I Know I Got) Skillz.”
Performing Shaq Diesel
Friday, July 15
Pitchfork Music Festival
1501 West Randolph St, Chicago