Shaquille O’Neal is one of the world’s most famous basketball players, but there’s another side to him: DJ Diesel. He’s been DJing across the world as Diesel for a few years, and his debut album, “Gorilla Warfare,” was just released on Monstercat.

@SaVichTakes tweets about Shaquille O’Neal’s new album release “Gorilla Warfare” garnering 40.3K Views:

His style is best defined as a mash-up of EDM, rock, and hip-hop, and “Warfare” includes ten tracks with fellow DJ collaborators such as Jessica Audiffred, Crackdat alias Christian Smith, Hairitage, CELO, VRG & Blackway, Soltan, Kompany, TRXGGX, Rated R, and Chassi & Kozmoz.

Diesel tells Variety in a Zoom conversation,

“These are some of my favorites, and I wanted to use my platform to showcase other people to the world and help these young kids out.”

Diesel adds that while all of his collaborators were inspiring, Audiffred, whom he worked with on “No Fear,” particularly struck him. “Everyone needs to be scared of her. She played for me and I told my crew we need to watch out for her. She goes hard,” he said.

Diesel collaborated closely with his friend and producer Brian Bayati to put together the tracklist and choose which artists to highlight. Diesel states,

“Brian is the Larry Bird of the dubstep scene and I’m Magic Johnson, and we are the perfect pair. As I was coming up, we’d say, ‘He’s hot. She’s hot.’ And when it comes to the sport of EDM and dubstep music, we want to take it to the next level.”

The album title is derived from his guerrilla marketing attempt to promote himself as a DJ. He adds,

“I could pay a marketing firm $500 for this, but no. I didn’t want to roll the whole project. We wanted to hit people by surprise and change the way the world thinks of Diesel. I want to earn the respect from people.”

Diesel is no stranger to the EDM scene and DJing. He’s always loved spinning records, dating back to his undergraduate days when he used to DJ. He claims,

“Brian and I are real DJs — from the crate era. I had to go and steal milk crates. I used all my money from cutting grass to buy records. I had SP-1200s sampling workstations and a Gemini mixer. I was a battle DJ.”

Diesel was yearning for that adrenaline and fulfillment after retiring from the NBA in 2011.

He says,

“I’ve been playing basketball since I was 13, If it’s a crowd of 100 people or a crowd of 100,000, it’s the same thing if you’re putting on a show. In high school, the gym would be packed with 300 people. In the NBA and the championships, you have parades, but then it’s all gone, and you need it back. I went to Tomorrowland and saw Tiesto with 100,000 people out there. I got that feeling back. I thought, ‘I’ve been DJing since ’88, let me try.’ I was in the celebrity DJ box and had to prove myself.”

Diesel credits Lollapalooza’s Perry Farrell with providing him the opportunity to perform in 2019, stating “Mr. Perry gave me the opportunity. I didn’t have the slot that I wanted. But I guess when people found out I was DJing, they came out. We came out and saw 50,000 people. The place went crazy.” He played in front of his most noticeable audience to date earlier this month at Lollapalooza, in front of over 100,000 people. “That felt like a championship game and a parade all in one,” he says.

He has since performed at Lost Lands, Tomorrowland, EDC LV, Electic Zoo, Forbidden Kingdom, Beyond Wonderland, and has a residency at Wynn in Las Vegas.

@umberto_wealth praises O’Neal in a tweet showcasing his brilliant DJing after being a successful athlete:

Now that he’s performed at festivals and clubs, he compares the sensation to going onto a basketball court. He says,

“It gives me the feeling of a playoff game. People are ready to jam and have a good time. It’s our job as athletes and DJs to give them their money’s worth.”

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Kyla Ortega

Kyla is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for streaming and security. With over a decade of experience in the industry, John has become an authoritative voice, providing valuable insights and practical advice to readers worldwide.

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