Rap veteran Nas recently compared the music careers of former Los Angeles Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, ultimately giving the latter an easy edge.
Nasty Nas said Shaq’s music track record ranks him higher than Bryant’s short-lived hip-hop career.
Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant have had their fair share of verbal sparring bouts when they were teammates on the Lakers from 1996-2004. According to rapper Nas, who has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums since 1994, one of basketball stars might be a bit more glib than the other. When asked who is a better rapper, Nas said, “Shaq got that. Shaq got a classic hip-hop album. I don’t think Kobe got a chance to put out an album.” (Los Angeles Times)
Back in 2010, Nasir talked about his love for the Lakers after they signed fellow Queens, New York-bred player/rapper Ron Artest.
“When I tell you man, the amount of love for Ron Artest, how insane it is from my ‘hood, from Queensbridge, it is a beautiful thing,” Nas said in an interview. “We all root for Ron. We’re all supporting Ron. I wasn’t with the Lakers before [they signed Ron]. I’m with the Lakers now for that. I love him. He plays a great part in the team. We are rooting for Ron all day long.” (MTV)
Since the early 1990’s, Shaq has put out multiple hip-hop albums.
With a little help from his friends (production came from Fu-Schnickens, Ali from A Tribe Called Quest, Def Jef, and Erick Sermon), basketball’s brightest star of the early ’90s, Shaquille O’Neal, released Shaq Diesel, a 1993 album showcasing his moderate rapping talents. The following year, he released Shaq-Fu: Da Return. In 1996, O’Neal released The Best of Shaquille O’Neal early in November, followed a week later by his third album, You Can’t Stop the Reign. He returned in 1998 with Respect. (All Music)
A few years back, Bryant had a recording contract with Sony/Columbia Records and featured retired super model Tyra Banks on his “K.O.B.E.” single.
“K.O.B.E.” features a Latin-type beat sampled from a 7th Wonder song, while his rap style sounds a whole lot like Will Smith – which made sense, given that Track Masters also produced “Miami” and “Men in Black.” Tyra Banks (?) sang the hook, though the label on the record managed to call her “Tyra Bank.” Whether Kobe had a ghostwriter or not, we’ll probably never know – I mean, you ask him – but either way, the cringeworthy lyrics about pursuing women who won’t use him for his money kind of make Roy Jones look like Rakim in comparison. (Dime Mag)
Check out Kobe’s “K.O.B.E.” record below: