Rappers and professional basketball players have always been thick as thieves. One player that's especially maintained a tight knit relationship with hip-hop over the years is Shaq, real name Shaquille O'Neal. Dating all the way back to the mid-1990s when he cut tracks with the Notorious BIG to February 2016 when the retired NBA legend made headlines everywhere for beatboxing as Drake rapped the Grammy nominated 2015 hit, "Back to Back," during All-Star Weekend, Shaq has always been one of rap's closest allies.

Many may be unaware but Shaq's ties with hip-hop stretch back even further than often recalled. Not only did he release four studio albums between 1993 and 1998, but his deubt, Shaq Diesel, went platinum, selling over one million copies. Throughout the course of his career, he's also made records with Method Man, Red Man, Jay Z, Mobb Deep, and Rakim. Plus, who can forget his Biggie featured track "You Can't Stop The Reign."  A host of compilation albums and soundtracks are also part of O'Neal's catalog.

In 2013, Shaq even starred alongside Tyga in Reebok's Shaqnosis commercial, a spot for the return of the famed shoe the basketball star created with the sneaker company 18 years prior. The visual features both entertainers as they engage in a conversation that's hindered by the extreme height difference.

Check out more of Shaq's hip-hop ties over the past 20 years in the gallery above.


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