Earning $17,400,000 From Magic, Shaquille O’Neal Revealed Surprised Reaction Upon Getting Platinum Certification Cheque for Shaq Diesel: “This Is It?!”

Earning $17,400,000 From Magic, Shaquille O’Neal Revealed Surprised Reaction Upon Getting Platinum Certification Cheque for Shaq Diesel: “This Is It?!”

Jul 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Shaquille O’Neal, AKA DJ Diesel, performs before the game between the San Diego Legion and the New England Free Jacks at Seat Geek Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Like many other NBA players from the present and past, Shaquille O’Neal also tried his hand at rapping. However, unlike many of his peers, he achieved immense success through his first project itself. His debut album Shaq Diesel, which was released in October 1993, sold like hotcakes and earned the platinum certificate. However, the personal economic gains from the album sales didn’t impress Diesel. He expected much more considering he was already en route to become a multi-millionaire.

The Orlando Magic Center was already on a four-year, $17,400,000 rookie deal that he signed in 1992. So by the time he received his cheque for the album, probably well into his second season, he was underwhelmed by the monetary value. On his The Big Podcast with Shaq, the big fella told record producer Mike Will how he felt after getting the cheque for his maiden album.

I went platinum the first time. I was like, man this feels pretty good. But then when I got that cheque, I was like,’This is it’,” revealed Shaquille O’Neal.

Then the Center disclosed that since he was already “making so much money”, he sidelined the “making the money part” and just wanted to have fun in his hip-hop career. This approach paid off for DJ Diesel in the long run.

Shaquille O’Neal met many hip-hop legends while pursuing his craft

Considering he was already making a lot of money through his NBA career and endorsements, he could pursue rapping exclusively as an artistic endeavor. During his pod, Shaq revealed that he “never wanted to be a rapper”. Growing up, he donned a fake dookie gold chain pretending to be NWA’s LL Cool J. Therefore, Shaq grew up amid a big wave of hip-hop culture.

He mentioned that his December 2, 1992 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show played a big role in shaping his rap career. During that appearance, he performed the song “What’s Up Doc” with his favorite rap group Fu-Schnixkens. The song was also featured on Shaq’s debut album.

When the acclaimed record label, Jive Records witnessed this performance, they offered O’Neal $10 million for three albums. While working with Jive Records, the endearing NBA athlete got to meet the biggest names in the industry.

Being in the studio with Notorious BIG, priceless. Being in the studio with Nas and Jay-Z, Lord Tariq, Peter Gunz, DJ Quik, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg, it don’t get no better than that”, stated the East Coast hip-hop artist.

Although he never wanted to pursue the trade as a profession, Diesel would spend all night in the studio to hone his craft. He wouldn’t be satisfied easily and constantly ask for re-takes. It shows that for the big fella, rapping was not a business, it was a pursuit of an art form.

As a top-notch NBA athlete, Shaq has the will to excel and the competitive attitude needed to make good music. His dedication to his passion stems from his habit of giving his 100% every time, since Shaq’s NBA days. Due to this approach, he was able to have experiences that he cherishes to the day.