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Shaquille O'Neal shares what his friendship with Bigge Smalls looked like and what made him Shaq's favorite rapper

Shaquille O'Neal & Biggie Smalls

Shaq on his friendship with Biggie Smalls

Early in his career, Shaquille O'Neal developed a relationship with the late great rapper Biggie Smalls, culminating with them making a song together. Apart from being an NBA superstar, Shaq was also a part-time rapper who loved rap and the hip hop culture, and it heavily influenced him early on in his life. Shaq started producing songs and albums, trying to showcase to everyone he is also talented behind the mic in the same way he is on the basketball court.

Developing a close relationship with Biggie

In his book Shaq Talks Back, he details what happened when Biggie Smalls tragically died in 1997. According to Shaq, he was supposed to go to the party where Biggie was killed but luckily decided to stay home.

"Biggie Smalls (aka The Notorious B.I.G.) was one of my favorite rappers. I saw him three days before he was murdered and actually was supposed to go to the party he was killed at."

Shaq shares his relationship with Biggie was much more profound than anyone expected, and they both had a lot in common. They both shared immense success at an early age, and Biggie was worried about his competitors in the industry trying to hurt him and overtake his place. He was looking to Shaq to give him some advice on handling situations like those in his life.

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"Biggie and I had a little history. I flew him and his whole crew out to my house a few years ago. We hung out. We'd talk about a few things. We both had people in our professions who were jealous of us and wanted to take us down, so he wanted to know how I dealt with those kind of people. "How do I handle the haters?" he asked me. I said, "Don't even worry about it. When you're the best, some people are gonna like you, some people are gonna hate you. Worry about what you do. Make your money and take care of your family."

Shaq admired Biggie's talent

Working with Biggie in the studio creating music was an experience of a lifetime for Shaq because he witnessed firsthand all the talent Biggie possessed. He would just hear the beat and immediately have the lyrics in his mind, ready to freestyle it without any problem. Shaq remembers Biggie's verses were so hard he couldn't even put them on the album at the time.

"He was an amazing rapper. I need to hear the beat, go into a room, and write something. Biggie could just hear the beat. No pencil, no paper. He'd just sit there and go, "All right, I'm ready." Then he went into my recording studio said some crazy stuff. I couldn't put what he said on my album at the time, it was so hot. Real hot. That was one cold cat."

Shaq remembers the last time seeing Biggie was on his birthday, which was March 6th, and three days later, Biggie was shot and died. It happened at a party he organized where Shaq was also supposed to go but decided at the last moment he was going to stay at his house. Shaq often questioned himself and others about the possibilities of what could have happened if he had been there. Would Biggie still be alive, and the guy that shot him wouldn't do it if he saw Shaq sitting beside him? Those are the questions that went through Shaq's mind, but he will forever remember it as a sad day because he lost a close friend.

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