There are countless oddball hip-hop collaborations floating around on Youtube, but few can say that they have Jay-Z on a track. Oddly enough, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is one who can boast that he once rapped side by side with Hov.
“Jay-Z has always been one of the dopest ever, and when he did a song on my album—it took him five minutes,” Shaq tells VIBE before he filled in as guest coach for MMG’s basketball team at NYC’s Rucker Park. “Jay-Z sort of reminds me of myself. We’re the same age but even though the trends keep changing—we change with the trends. And, we still dominate whatever the trend is.”
Shaq Diesel recruited Mr. Magna Carta for his third rap album, You Can’t Stop The Reign, which was released by Interscope Records in 1996. Jay dropped a guest verse along with Lord Tariq on the cut, “No Love Lost.” More recently, Shaq even tattooed a Jay-Z lyric on his arm which reads: “Don’t compare me to nobody. I’d rather not be mentioned. I’m offended”
Though the two will most likely never rap together again, Big Shaq still shows much admiration for his old friend.
“He’s probably one of the oldest rappers in the game, but he’s still the hottest. He’s still spitting that fire,” Shaq tells VIBE. “For him to release his album on the phone thingy and go platinum immediately—genius. I wish I could sell my sneakers on the app,” Shaq continues. “I heard [Magna Carta]—nicely done. Timbaland did great on the beats. Nice to hear that an older cat in the game is still dominating.”
Video and Interview by Jason Chandler