Shaq unleashes DJ Diesel on debut EDM album 'Gorilla Warfare'
Shaq enlisted a handful of up-and-coming DJs as collaborators on the 10-track album.
Shaquille O’Neal is ready to take EDM and dubstep to the next level with his debut electronic music album, Gorilla Warfare. The collaborative project lists 10 tracks and features up-and-coming acts like Jessica Audiffred, CELO, VRG & Blackway, Rated R, and more. It was released on Friday (Aug. 18).
Shaq has been on the ones and twos professionally as DJ Diesel since 2015, though his love for the turntables dates back to ‘88, when he was still in college. His musical passion has since landed him on the stage of Lollapalooza, where he has played for a crowd of more than 100,000 fans, and several other noteworthy festivals. With his 19-year NBA career and countless basketball accolades behind him, the 7-footer hopes his growing presence in the dubstep scene will help others reach larger audiences.
“These are some of my favorites,” he told Variety about the album’s collaborators. “I wanted to use my platform to showcase other people to the world and help these young kids out,” he noted. In some ways, the project’s name is a nod to the big guy’s approach to getting the word out about it. “I could pay a marketing firm $500 for this, but no,” He added. “I didn’t want to roll [out] the whole project. We wanted to hit people by surprise and change the way the world thinks of Diesel. I want to earn the respect from people.”
The four-time NBA champ is far from an amateur when it comes to music. In the early 1990s, he signed a reported $10 million, three-album deal with Jive Records. In 1993, he made his debut as a rapper with Shaq Diesel. “I never wanted to be a rapper, but I did want the opportunity to rap with all my favorite emcees and just have fun and do the video with them; that’s what it’s all about for me,” he explained in a 2021 Genius interview. Hip hop giants like Erick Sermon, Redman, RZA, Phife Dawg, and The Notorious B.I.G, as well as Keith Murray, have all worked with the former Los Angeles Lakers center.
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