Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shaq is Still an Awful Rapper

By Evan Rytlewski
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Shaquille O’Neal’s widely publicized freestyle diss of Kobe Bryant was an odd reminder that although he hasn’t released an album in seven years, Shaq still hasn't stopped trying to be a rapper. Where most athletes-turned-rappers quickly get the message that they should stick to their day job, Shaq has been aggressively oblivious. Throughout the ’90s, he released rap records at a steady clip, almost always to rolled eyes and mediocre sales.

As the Bryant diss reminded the country, Shaq is clumsy on the mic:



Despite his lack of lyrical grace, though, Shaq has actually cut a couple of decent records with the ample help of his outsourced talent. Many of his singles were blessed by top-grade beats from some of their era’s most adept producers, and Shaq was never above completely reinventing himself from track to track to stay with the times. Depending on the song, Shaq  has passed himself off as…

…a poor-man’s Rakim:



…a jazz-loving Native Tongue with an oversized ego:



…the lost fifth member of the Pharcyde:



…a Dr. Dre-biting G-funkmonger:



…or, my personal favorite, a shadow-dwelling Gravedigga:



Save, of course, for Shaq's odious verse, "No Hook" is actually a pretty damn great Wu-Tang song.

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