Who doesn't like Shaquille O'Neal? From his hilarious interviews to the many, many self-imposed nicknames to his play on the hardwood, Shaq is the epitome of entertainment, both on and off the court. Today, the man called "The Big Diesel" turns the big 4-0. To celebrate, we're taking a trip down memory lane to check out the greatest Shaq lines from hip-hop heavyweights like 50 Cent and Nas, to some underground artists and even a couple bars from the Big Aristotle himself. With everything from analogies about Shaq's size (II) to the many perspectives on his feud with Kobe Bryant, here are the 25 Best Shaq Rap References of All-Time.
25. Big Tymers, "Still Fly"
Lyric: "Got a Superman Benz that I scored from Shaq/With a old school Caddy with a diamond in the back." (Mannie Fresh)
In the early 2000s no rap crew had flyer whips than the Cash Money Millionaires. And when this song dropped, Shaq was in the midst of leading the Lakers to a three-peat. Plus, the Big Fella was known for customizing his rides for his large frame and slapping the Superman logo on it just stunt. We're just wondering, how the hell did Mannie reach the pedals in that thing?
24. The Roots f/ Dice Raw & Beanie Sigel, "Adrenaline!"
Lyric: "Used to cop off my man, now I'm supplyin' him/Paid the front-row seat watchin' Iverson/First-class air crafts what I'm flyin' in/To L.A., Shaq, Eddie, Kobe Bryant and them/Save the jokes for Chris Tucker, Richard Pryor and them/Used to shotgun in cars, now I'm drivin' 'em." (Beanie Sigel)
In 1999, Beanie did a ton of name-dropping and humble bragging on this track...but hey, rocking with Jay would do that to anybody. Nowadays, this rap would make for a good "Where Are They Now?" episode. Especially, Eddie Jones. Seriously, where the hell is that dude these days?
23. Danny Brown, "S.O.S"
Lyric: "These rap niggas trash and all their beats filth/I pull up on them, my hat on tilt/The cutty sitting high like Shaq on stilts."
Our favorite Adderall-popping MC refers to the Big Diesel on the hook of this 2010 track. By that time the Shaq was definitely a shell of his former self on the court but his legend still loomed larger than life. Like Shaq on stilts, indeed.
22. La Coka Nostra, "Where Hope Goes To Die"
Lyric: "I'm the white guy who gave the whole rap game a black eye/Fuck your bitch with a dick thicker then Shaq's thigh." (Slaine)
Can we just go ahead and nominate this one as the best Shaq analogy ever? La Coka Nostra doesn't go with talking about Shaq's shoe size or height in their raps, that's been played out. Instead, they aim for something even more random: The Big Diesel's thigh. OK, OK, we get it already. Shaq is big everywhere. Ayo!
21. Lupe Fiasco, "Dead Presidents Freestyle"
Lyric: "Sub-machine holes the size of Shaq rings/In between your eyes like nose/Pinky mac ring like the song/That Peedi Crakk sings, 'I Propose."
Shaq has a few rings, four to be exact and...Lupe will put holes in you? Wait, something's a bit off here but the Chi-Town MC never fails to paint clear visual with his rhymes. No matter how graphic they may be.
20. Lord Finesse f/ KRS One, "No Gimmicks"
Lyric: "When I'm around y'all feel funny/Cause I'm young makin' funds like Shaquille O'Neal, money." (Lord Finesse)
In 1996, Lord Finesse claimed that he was making Shaquille money. Nowadays, the only one making Shaquille money is Shaunie. #thisshitwritesitself
19. Jazmine Sullivan f/ J. Cole, "Need U Bad"
Lyric: "And now suddenly you say you wanna chat, but what is that?/You feel like Kobe, like I'm Shaq/Look how you need a nigga back." (J. Cole)
Let's be honest here. Kobe just isn't the same without a Robin to his Batman. Luckily, on February 1, 2008, KB's prayers were answered in the form of Pau Gasol. What came next was back-to-back chips for the Lake Show in '09 and '10. You see, there's nothing like a big man filling that gaping hole in the middle (II).
18. Nas, "Ain't Hard to Tell"
Lyric: "You feel it like braille ain't hard to tell/I kick a skill like Shaquille holds a pill."
Only two years into the league and Shaq already received a shout-out on the hip-hop classic, Illmatic. Homie's legacy cannot be denied.
17. DJ Kay Slay f/ Busta Rhymes, Shaq Diesel, Papoose, Remy Ma, "Can't Stop the Reign (Remix)"
Lyric: "How a playa stand there and say they ball like Deez?/Hell no!/Been nice as blue and white stripes before the yellows/Before King James, before Carmelo/Any before me, hell no I'm the realest." (Shaq)
Sometimes, Shaq will say whatever the hell he wants. No matter how crazy or ridiculous it may sound. Take the "Can't Stop the Reign 2006 (Remix)" for example. The Big Diesel actually thinks that guys like LeBron and Carmelo aren't better than him? C'mon dude, you've said some weird things in the past but this one's gotta top them all.
16. Game, "Church For Thugs"
Lyric: "Two long-ass Heats, I call 'em Shaq and Alonzo/You niggas want me out of L.A., yeah I know."
When you're rolling around the streets of Cali with "two long-ass Heats" named Shaq and Alonzo, any man should fear you. Unless someone else is riding around carrying Bullets called Muresan.
15. A$AP Rocky f/ Schoolboy Q, "Brand New Guy"
Lyric: "Riding round with that mask on/Like a Mac attack when that strap on/Like a Shaq attack on that backboard/Clap on, clap off." (A$AP Rocky)
Back in the day, Shaq used to attack the glass with reckless abandon, which explains the Schoolboy Q's reference in "Brand New Guy." Nowadays, though, the only clapping that gets done is when dude hits the ground after getting nailed by a Christmas tree. #timesareachangin
14. Rick Ross f/ Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy & Trick Daddy, "Luxury Tax"
Lyric: "It costs to ball, dog/Especially when the players on your team consider you as the ball hog/You treat me like Shaq and you Kobe/But I ain't say you owe me, nigga, but act like you know me, nigga." (Trick Daddy)
In another rapper's take on the Kobe-Shaq beef, Trick Daddy talks about how Kobe wouldn't recognize Shaq. But who could blame The Black Mamba? Shaq has gone called "Superman, "The Big Baryshnikov," "Wilt Chamberneezy." The list goes on and on...
13. Ghostface Killah f/ Kanye West & Ne-Yo, "Back Like That (Remix)"
Lyric: "We at the spot to chill, with a Fuji Grill/She ordered the Kobe beef like Shaquille O'Neal/Second I walked in, the whole room got still/I don't know how to put this but, I'm kind of a big deal." (Kanye West)
So, how does Kobe's beef tastes? Ayo!
12. Action Bronson, "Barry Horowitz"
Lyric: "It's Barry Horowitz rap, I pat myself on the back/Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk, Shaq I attack. Close the window to your soul, weed inside my lungs burn/These old suckers gettin placed into a young urn."
How many of you could've predicted that Shaq would be mentioned in a song named "Barry Horowitz," which is a reference to a real professional wrestler who became known primarily for his Jewish heritage? Guess the Shaq Attack is strong enough to break down barriers, but still light enough to be carried around the stage of a late night talk show by your girlfriend. So versatile.
11. Joe Budden f/ Hitchcock, Fabolous & Ransom, "Family Reunion"
Lyric: "Ain't nobody tryin' to rap or play me/I'll be at they crib with a couple hammers and a black old AV/Black gonna pay me, still get the smack off Baisley/Cause I'm touchin more diesel than Shaq old lady." (Ransom)
In 2007, Shaunie may have feeling up on The Big Diesel, but during that same year, ma started touching something that Shaq didn't want any part of: his bank account. After filing for divorce from Shaq, she traded in her marriage for a large, unknown sum of money.
10. Joe Budden, "NBA"
Lyric: "Nice truck, nice house and chain/I car jacked you like Shaq shooting a three, man get outta your Range."
Fun fact: Shaquille O'Neal went 1-22 at the 3-point line throughout his career. During the 1995-96 season with the Magic, Shaq shot 50% from behind the arc, so take that, Reggie Miller! But yeah, dude was definitely out of his range.
9. Evidence, "I Know"
Lyric: "What's it come to, what else to say?/Shaq's a cop, and the Lakers ain't runnin L.A.?"
Shaq repeatedly stated that he wanted to be a cop one day, so when he finally became a member of the 5-0, was anyone really surprised? But now Evidence is saying that the Lakers don't run L.A.? With all due respect, FOH with all that talk!
8. Notorious B.I.G., "Gimme The Loot"
Lyric: "I'm slamming niggas like Shaquille, shit is real."
Biggie actually appeared on the title track from Shaq's 1996 album You Can't Stop the Reign. One of the illest on the mic teaming up with one of the most dominant players in NBA history? #nuffsaid #realrecognizereal
7. 50 Cent, "Back Down"
Lyric: "Every little nigga you see around me/Hold a gun big enough to fuckin' hold Shaq down."
If it's good enough for the roller coasters, it should be good enough to be implemented in the hood. You must be this tall to carry a gun big enough to hold Shaq down.
6. Big Daddy Kane f/ Scoob Lover, Biggie, 2pac & Shyheim, "Live Freestyle"
Lyric: "Once again, niggas know my style, God dammit/Unless it's on the cut so give me the mic and watch me slam it/Hard like Shaquille/O' you better kneel/When you see me comin', Big Scoob got 'em runnin'" (Scoob Lover)
This is a bit of slick word play from Scoob Lover whose pun refers to Shaq's last name. We can only imagine how many rappers will do the same for Jeremy Lin—if dude is actually able to keep his starting spot. Lin taketh and Lin giveth away, very often.
5. Lloyd Banks, "It Blows My Mind"
Lyric: "If there's more than one hoe, sit back and blow me/And argue over my balls like Shaq and Kobe."
A clever line from Banks here. While there is no sugarcoating what homie is talking about in that first line, the G-Unit affiliate uses the second line to reference the Kobe-Shaq beef reference that was going on between the two athletes at that time. C'mon guys, save all that unnecessary chatter for the groupies.
4. Rhymefest f/ Kanye West, "Brand New"
Lyric: "I'm leaving you haters like when Shaq left the Lakers just to Heat it up."
As you have probably realized, Kanye was really into using that Kobe vs. Shaq feud in his raps. In "Brand New," 'Ye talks about O'Neal leaving the haters *cough Kobe and the Lakers front office cough* for the Miami Heat. But not only did Shaq get a fresh start, he got another ring to add to his collection in 2006, a mere two years after being traded.
3. Nicki Minaj, "Tragedy"
Lyric: "It must hurt to sell your album off PayPal/'Specially when you in the game 15, 20/You was hot when Shaq teamed up with Penny/Man, you was magic!/I mean, look at you now, ho, you just tragic!"
Back in the day, before teaming up with Flash and Kobe, there was Shaq and Penny. While the duo was never able to capture a championship together for the Orlando Magic, Nicki does hit it right on the head. They were magic! Double entendres FTW!
2. Jay-Z, "Venus vs. Mars"
Lyric: "My dollars was down, she left me for some Euros/Took my whole flavor, I call her Coke Zero/We were co-MVP's, like Kobe and Shaq/Left me for the Heat, we were winning back-to-back."
Before Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, the Lakers had a formidable tandem in Big Diesel and Kobe Bryant. So much so that they won back-to-back-to-back championships together. However, the two had a falling out, which eventually led to Shaq's departure. Celtics coach Doc Rivers called their separation "the biggest travesty in sports" because he believes that they could've won at least 5 chips if they remained together. Wait, we're talking about Kobe not knowing a good thing when he had it? You don't say.
1. Shaq, "Kobe, Tell Me How My Ass Tastes Freestyle"
Lyric: Entire song.
How the hell is a random freestyle the best Shaq rap reference of all time? Easy, these few bars which were spit in a club just days after the Lakers lost in the Finals to the Boston Celtics are pure ether. "Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes," deserves a spot on the greatest rap disses of all time much less the top spot on this list. Salute and happy birthday to the Big Diesel!