Shaquille O’Neal is making his rap comeback.
The former NBA great, who enjoyed a brief and not-too-well-respected career in rap music in the early 1990s, is making a bid to return to the mic for the latest installment of NBA2k Games’ annual title. The former Kazaam star petitioned music super-producer Pharrell, the executive producer of the soundtrack, for inclusion.
As Vibe notes, Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t make a very convincing case:
Naturally, the whole thing goes down in sputtering verse, with some sketchy beatboxing backing it up. With warbling answering machine lines like “yo, Pharrell, this is Shaq / Put me on the 2K15 track” he doesn’t really make the case that he’s still in top rapping shape, but it’s not really like the dude was spitting Busdriver bars to begin with.
Who knows, maybe with a boost from the “Happy” singer he could stage a full-fledged comeback, but if you watch the above video, you don’t get the sense that he’ll be challenging the likes of Future and YG for the best rap album of the year.
Though he’s not too highly regarded as an emcee, Shaq has actually found some success in the rap game. His 1993 debut Shaq Diesel somehow managed to go platinum, and he had two singles register on the charts. His first one, “(I Know I Got) Skillz”, hit No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 and then reached gold status on December 21, 1993. The next single, “I’m Outstanding” reached No. 47.
The luster fell of for Shaq’s third single, “Shoot Pass Slam”, which did not make it to the Billboard charts.
Given Shaq’s rap background, and the fact that Pharrell is at the pinnacle of the hip-hop world at the moment, it’s likely that Shaq’s request is a bit of self-promotion (or game promotion).
Anyone interested in checking out Shaquille O’Neal rapping can watch the full video at SPIN.com.