Shaquille O'Neal recently claimed to be the best athlete-rapper in response to the same assertion from the Milwaukee Bucks' Damian Lillard.
"It's all competition for me, so when I hear people say that they are a better athlete-rapper than Shaq, I gotta step up," he told TMZ Sports. "No disrespect to the rappers, but the reason that I retired from rap is because there isn't enough money in that game for me," he said further.
Shaq cited Iman Shumpert, Antonio Brown, and Damian Lillard as "really nice," but says that he will always consider himself the best.
Shaq's 1993 album Shaq Diesel went platinum, and he went gold with Shaq Fu: Da Return in the next year. In his career, he has worked with Hip-Hop greats such as Jay-Z, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Lord Tariq, and The Fu-Schnickens.
In other Shaq music news, he recently released an EDM album under the name DJ Diesel titled Gorilla Warfare. The project boasts features from fellow DJ's Jessica Audiffred, Crackdat aka Christian Smith, Hairitage, CELO, VRG & Blackway, Soltan, Kompany, TRXGGX, Rated R, and Chassi & Kozmoz.
Shaq recently spoke to Variety about his career as a DJ. "I’ve been playing basketball since I was 13. If it’s a crowd of 100 people or a crowd of 100,000, it’s the same thing if you’re putting on a show," he explained. "In high school, the gym would be packed with 300 people. In the NBA and the championships, you have parades, but then it’s all gone, and you need it back. I went to Tomorrowland and saw Tiesto with 100,000 people out there. I got that feeling back. I thought, ‘I’ve been DJing since ’88, let me try.’ I was in the celebrity DJ box and had to prove myself."
Shaq compared the thrill of DJing for a crowd of 100,000 at this year's Lollapalooza to his experiences in the NBA. “It gives me the feeling of a playoff game. People are ready to jam and have a good time. It’s our job as athletes and DJs to give them their money’s worth,” he explained. Gorilla Warfare, which boasts 10 songs, was released August 18 on the Monstercat label.