Shaq releases first rap song since ’90s to celebrate NBA playoffs

Written by on May 5, 2023

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Shaquille O’Neal is returning to the rap scene in a major way since the release of his last album in the 90s, People reports. 

O’Neal is celebrating the NBA playoffs with the release of the Koko-produced single, “King Talk.” He collaborated with Ghanaian American hip-hop artist Blackway on the track. 

The NBA legend posted a snippet of the clip earlier this year on social media to celebrate LeBron James passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record. 

2023 Shaq's Fun House Big Game Weekend
Shaquille O’Neal attends Shaq’s Fun House Big Game Weekend at Talking Stick Resort on Feb. 10, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“Bow down and kiss the ring,” O’Neal raps on the track. As People reports, Koko sent the NBA Hall of Famer several beats before he settled on “King Talk.”

“I knew I had to jump on it,” O’Neal said in a statement, People reports. 

The father of six said the record “gets me hyped like I’m walking out for Game 7 of the finals.”

“King Talk” provided O’Neal with the perfect opportunity to work with Blackway, a rising Afrobeat artist. His song “What’s Up Danger” with Black Caviar appears in “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.” Blackway, who is currently working on an EP, released his latest single, “Lion,” in March according to People.

“I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment for a collab with Blackway and this was it,” O’Neal shared.

In his statement, O’Neal said the “vibe” of “King Talk” perfectly encapsulates “the moment when LeBron James set the NBA scoring record” in February.

“It was crazy to see so many people connect with the song when they heard the teaser, just like I did when we created it,” he said.

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Listen to “King Talk” via the YouTube clip above. 

The track marks O’Neal’s return to hip-hop following the 1998 release of his fourth album, “Respect,” according to

His debut album, “Shaq Diesel,” was released in 1993 and sold over 1 million copies. The following year, O’Neal dropped “Shaq Fu: Da Return” and his third album, “You Can’t Stop the Reign,” was released in 1996.

During his 90s rap career, O’Neal worked with a slew of hip-hop icons such as Nas, Jay-Z, and late rappers Big Pun and the Notorious B.I.G. The basketball great is currently a “world-renowned electronic DJ” known as DJ Diesel.

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