WEST HOLLYWOOD, California — It ain’t easy being Shaq.
Being one of the most celebrated players in NBA history is so difficult, in fact, that Shaquille O’Neal recently teamed up with members of Korn and 311 to record the mad rock rant “Psycho” on which the Lakers center vents about the snags of stardom.
“’Psycho’ is just the other side of me — the side that I’m really not allowed to show,” the hoopster/rapper said Monday at the Key Club, where the Lakers were celebrating their second consecutive NBA championship. “It’s just how I get sometimes. I get stressed out, and I get pent up.”
Korn bassist Fieldy and 311 singer/guitarist Nick Hexum and drummer Chad Sexton accompany Shaq on the track.
“He wanted to make a rock track where he’s just going off, ranting and raving as this character called Psycho,” Hexum said. “He’s going off about all the pressures that are on him and how he just has to bust out sometimes.”
Shaq declares in the song, “I want y’all to hear me/ Respect me and fear me/ Ahh, I suggest you don’t get near me/ I’m psycho, and I don’t think clearly.”
The randomness of his ranting at times recalls an Eminem outburst, complete with lines bound to make listeners laugh: “Critics, when you hear this, don’t say jack/ I’m the sh–; I was born out my mother’s a– crack.”
Shaq said “Psycho” is readymade for slam-dancing, something there’ll be plenty of on his upcoming U.S. tour. The rapper will hold a contest called Take Down Shaq, offering $10,000 to any audience member who can knock him down.
“I love all types of music — I love rock music, I love people going out there and slam-dancin’, and ’Psycho’ is a definite head-banger, banger-boogie, slam-dance-type song. And if anyone can knock me down in a slam-dance competition, I’ll give ’em 10,000 out of my pocket.”
“Psycho” will not appear on Shaq’s upcoming album, Shaquille O’Neal Presents His Superfriends, Volume 1 (September 11), but it’ll be available in limited numbers through select stores. The same approach was used for his Lakers victory song, “Shaq’s Tribute to the Lakers (It Takes Two),” which samples Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock’s classic “It Takes Two” (see “Shaq Turns To Hip-Hop Classic For Lakers Tribute” ).
Nicole Scherzinger of Eden’s Crush was invited to sing the tribute track’s hook on the advice of 311’s Hexum. “Shaq loved Nicole because she’s just radiant and sang her ass off on the song,” Hexum said.
Shaq thanked 311 for their help on “Psycho” and “Shaq’s Tribute” by appearing in the reggae-punk band’s video for “You Wouldn’t Believe.” “He’s a lot of fun to hang out with,” Hexum said. “He’s always making everybody laugh.”
Although he performed “Shaq’s Tribute” at a victory parade for the Lakers earlier Monday, Shaq left the entertainment up to Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell and up-and-coming Los Angeles hip-hop group Latin Froz at the Key Club party. Farrell delivered a typically eclectic DJ set of jungle and trance mixes in a private room downstairs, while Latin Froz got the upstairs dance floor shakin’, with even the Laker Girls out there getting down.
Latin Froz, whom Shaq invited to perform, will release the single “Metelo” to radio next month, with an album due in the fall.
Shaquille O’Neal Presents His Superfriends, Volume 1 features contributions from hordes of artists, including the Roots’ Black Thought and ?uestlove, 112, Ludacris, Common, Mos Def and Angie Stone.