Teen Shaq was inspired to spin some tunes.
As a jack of all trades, Shaquille O’Neal wears many hats. The sports mogul, commentator, investor, and basketball legend keeps himself busy with several projects, including racing around the globe to DJ some of the hottest and most exclusive parties and festivals. DJ Diesel has been spinning on the ones and twos since the late 1980s when Shaq was just a teenage kid searching for his passion.
“I started DJing in ’87, ’88,” he told Swisher Sweets during a “Shaq At Sea” interview. “I went to an LL Cool J, Public Enemy concert and I saw my favorite DJ, Terminator X. I was a kid at age 13, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. It was all dreams. I want to be a DJ. I want to be a cop. I want to be a businessman. I want to be in the NBA. So, I practiced everything.”
It’s obvious, and expected, that Shaq applies basketball concepts and terms to other aspects of his life. As he explained the feeling he experiences when he’s up there hyping the crowd and watching them dance to his music, Shaq said, “To me, DJing is my Game 7. I always grew up on adrenaline. In 2011, when I was forced to retire I didn’t have the adrenaline thing going. I went to a concert known as Tomorrow World, there was 500,000 people jumping up and down. So, whenever I DJ, I just want them to jump up and down. It gives me the feeling of a Game 7.”
He mentions that his favorite tunes to play is “hard bass music” because he likes tackling more difficult tracks that other DJs avoid. While there are top dog DJs that are internationally known, including the likes of Tiesto and Skrillex, Shaq wants them to know that he’s ready to climb the ranks in the DJ world. “It ain’t no phones. It ain’t no selfies. They just want to hear you jam.”