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June 30, 2008

Da Return of Shaq Fu

Shaq's freestyle rap in which he informs Kobe of the flavor of a certain part of his anatomy, and tells the crowd that the Lakers' guard "couldn't do without me," has been covered ad nauseam by now (including by Gelf's podcasters). But one aspect of Shaq's freestyle has passed under the radar amid questions about whether the two hate each other: Shaq's use of the word "nigger".

Of course, nobody has printed the word itself, but we found only one mention of Shaq's use of it—in a column, actually about Don Imus, that appeared in the Daily Journal of Kankakee, Illinois. Neither ESPN nor Deadspin even brought it up.

However, perhaps the big man's most recent freestyle was not truly meant to 'dis Kobe, but rather to resuscitate his flagging hip-hop career. An LA Times column points out that Shaq's six rap albums (six? We really thought he had one) have sold a grand total of 20 copies all year. We're pretty sure our friend's band's demo tape is doing better than that.

Maybe Shaq took a look at the fates of other rapper-athletes, like Ron Artest and L Millz, and decided that he needed to call some attention to his lyrical prowess (or lack thereof), lest he be consigned to the realm of internet video comedy like Juan Pierre's "Wiggly Feel" celebratory freestyle from 2003. Which, of course, he has, but maybe he'll sell some copies of Shaq Fu: Da Return in the process.

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