Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Loose Cannon

Anyone with an ear to the sports world or even to the comings and going of celebrity buzz, no doubt has seen or heard the recent bit of impromptu freestylin' by Shaq at a New York club. Now I'm far from someone that's qualified to be judging the merits of a good freestyle diss, but from what I see, it appears that along with his basketball skills, his rapping skills have significantly eroded. 2008 Shaq in Phoenix was definitely not the Shaq I recall of the Magic/Lakers as much as 2008 Shaq rapping was not the Shaq I recall of the free CD single that came with Genesis copies of "Shaq Fu."

The bulk of the controversy of the clip is that most of Shaq's spitting hot fire is directed towards his ex-teammate and recent NBA Finals loser Kobe Bryant. Personally I think the attention this is getting is definitely a bit overblown for a couple of reasons. The main reason is that well...Shaq's right. Shaq has managed win another ring sans-Kobe, with a Miami Heat team that was quite possibly the least talented team to win the NBA Finals in the last 25 years. Kobe and the Lakers were viewed by many as the favorites coming into the final series and, in the end, put up even less of a fight against the Celtics than the sub-.500 Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Shaq has every right to call out Kobe on that, at least in the realm of freestyle rap battles, until Kobe can prove he can win san-Shaq. The other reason this is all meaningless is the plain fact that, Shaq's dissing is just so bad that it can hardly even be construed as disrespect or a serious opening salvo. How awkward is that part of the video when Shaq's trying to get everyone to sing along to the chorus of "Kobe, tell me how my azz taste"? No matter how one can turn it or flip it or change the context, it just can't avoid coming off as more than a little lame...and homoerotic.

My only problem with Shaq's rhymes is the calling out of my man, Patrick Ewing, for not having any rings. Not cool, man. Ewing did the best he can under the circumstances and there just wasn't enough talent around him to bring the Knicks over the top. Also, is it wise to be dissing on a New York City basketball icon when you're trying to work the crowd and get them on your side in a club in NEW YORK CITY?

Unfortunately for Shaq, I wasn't the only one who found his freestyle skills to be lacking. The Maricopa County Sheriff did not approve and stripped him of his special deputy's badge, despite the positive feedback of some of the biggest names in the rap community (and Cory Gunz). This will no doubt be a big letdown for the Diesel since he mentioned many times, his interest in being a law enforcement official after his playing career; which if he continues his current decline in health and playing abilities, will be sooner then later.

Now I'm sure Shaq's recent demotion form the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department was handled formally and without much dramatics but I find it a lot more interesting to picture it like a gritty 70's police procedural. So instead of Shaq getting some phone call or a letter he walks into the tense, sweltering office of County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, played by say Fred "Hammer" Williamson:

Chief: I see that your latest bit of "police work" made the headlines, O'Neal. (tosses newspaper on desk)

Shaq: I got Kobe didn't I?

Chief: "How my azz taste?" Was that really necessary!?

Shaq: You tell me Chief. You read the articles, you saw the clip. It's not like you were up there, rep on the line. I'm sure you can make up a pretty easy line when you're sitting behind your big desk in a comfortable chair.

Chief: Dammit, O'Neal! You know what you are? You're a loose canon! It doesn't matter who gets dissed or how labored the rhymes are, as long you get your man, hotshot!

Shaq: Did you see Game 6...

Chief: I don't want to hear it anymore, O'Neal! I am goddamn sick and tired of explaining your antics to the mayor and the chief of police! I don't know who you think you are, but here we have standards!

Shaq: I have five original albums and two compilations, don't you dare lecture me on standards.

Chief: That may be the case, but I'm afraid the higher ups have spoken. Give me your badge.

Shaq: Chief, you can't be seri-

Chief: Give me you badge, deputy! You brought this upon yourself!

Shaq: (disdainfully throws badge onto desk) You know, I used to respect you. I used to think you were a damn good sheriff, someone who would defend a freestyle rhyme regardless of quality. You've obviously changed.

Chief: It's out of my hands.

...and scene!


  1. Yes, Shaq clearly deserves more credit for winning a finals with Dwyane Wade scoring 35 a game than Kobe does for pushing six games with nothing but Bill Walton's idiot son, a bunch of goofy Euros and Lamar Odom.

    Also, goddamn, is Peter Gunz really that old????

  2. I'll take Luke, a bunch of Euros, and Lamar Odom over a 120 year old Gary Payton, an increasingly worthless Jason Williams, and the dynamic duo and Derek and Shandon Anderson.