Shaq‘s found a ton of success in his post-NBA career as part of TNT’s Inside The NBA crew, but the career accolades just keep coming.
He’s long found solace in front of the crowd as a DJ –DJ Diesel, to be exact– but he’s taken it a step further by releasing his first album under the DJ pseudonym, named Gorilla Warfare.
The Hall of Famer turned DJ recently chopped it up with Variety about his foray into music and how much he enjoys collaborating with other artists to help their star power grow. On Gorilla Warfare alone, Shaq has features from fellow DJs like Jessica Audiffred, Crackdat aka Christian Smith, Hairitage, CELO, VRG & Blackway, Soltan, Kompany, TRXGGX, Rated R and Chassi & Kozmoz.
“These are some of my favorites, and I wanted to use my platform to showcase other people to the world and help these young kids out,” he told Variety.
Shaq’s been DJ’ing since the ’80s and reveals that, like playing basketball, entertaining a crowd brings him endless joy, and he was ready to take the hobby to new heights.
“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. 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,” he explained. “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.”
The 51-year-old now performed at some of the world’s most respected musical festivals like Lost Lands and Lollapalooza. He recalls the excitement behind his first Lollapalooza performance in 2019, which touted 50,000 spectators, to showing out in front of 100,000 this year.
He likens the experience to battling it out in the NBA Finals for the Larry O’Brien trophy- something he’s got a lot of experience with, boasting four NBA championships and three Finals MVPs.
“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 said.
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