Shaquille O’Neal, the TV personality and former athlete who’s also a hip-hop artist and DJ, is back with a new rap song, “Thotties Hit the Floor.” It samples the vocals of the nu-metal band Drowning Pool‘s signature hit, 2001’s “Bodies” (“Let the bodies hit the floor”).
Indeed, it’s the “thotties” — not quite the “bodies” — O’Neal intends to hit the (dance) floor in what he called a “Lil Freestyle for y’all” in a music video excerpt he shared Thursday (May 4), per Metal Hammer. In the clip, late Drowning Pool vocalist Dave Williams’ iconic “Bodies” refrain is layered under O’Neal’s bars.
Check out the video below.
O’Neal, who released four solo hip-hop albums from 1993 to 1998, recently returned to the stage to spin as DJ Diesel. And while he’s appeared in a few rap collaborations in recent years, it seems his DJ comeback has inspired new music in earnest.
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“Never would i have thought DJing would get me here!!” O’Neal said. “But when it’s your time, it’s YOUR TIME. Im beyond grateful Thotties Hit The Floor (MONSTER MASHUP) ft. Me, Lex Bratcher, Scar Lip.”
Shaq, “Thotties Hit the Floor” (Excerpt)
O’Neal’s “Bodies” sample follows an established tradition in hip-hop and dance. The Drowning Pool tune was sampled in 33 other beat-driven songs over the last two decades, according to WhoSampled.
Shaq’s History With Rock Music
Though long involved in hip-hop, O’Neal also has a history with rock. In 2001, the then-Los Angeles Lakers center appeared during 311‘s KROQ Weenie Roast gig. Onstage with the band, he performed his original song “Psycho” that has 311’s creative input.
The live collab was notable for more than just the sonic partnership between the rapping athlete and the other musicians. The icon who’s also known as Shaq — he often used the sporty nickname in the titles of his hip-hop albums from the 1990s — ended up with a bloody mouth as he crowd-surfed during what sounded like a new rap-rock direction for the 7-foot-1 entertainer.
“Psycho,” at one point laid down in a studio version that featured 311 guitarist-vocalist Nick Hexum and drummer Chad Sexton along with Korn‘s Fieldy on bass, was earmarked for a 2001 Shaq album that never materialized. The effort, which had a provisional tracklist and many hip-hop collabs alongside the nu-metal jam, was reportedly called Shaquille O’Neal Presents His Superfriends, Vol. 1.
“‘Psycho’ is just the other side of me,” Shaq told MTV News in an interview at the time. “The side that I’m really not allowed to show. It’s just how I get sometimes. I get stressed out, and I get pent up.”
Hexum later added, “He wanted to make a rock track where he’s just going off, ranting and raving as this character called Psycho. He’s going off about all the pressures that are on him.”
Shaq’s Lost Nu-Metal Album
Although Superfriends remains unreleased, “Psycho” can be found online. From 1993 to 1998, Shaq released the rap albums Shaq Diesel, Shaq Fu: Da Return, You Can’t Stop the Reign and, finally, Respect, which contains a track called “Psycho Rap (Interlude)” that may have been an early inspiration for the 311 team-up.
The 2001 KROQ Weenie Roast, held at the now-shuttered Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (then the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre) in Irvine, Calif., also hosted performances from Jane’s Addiction, blink-182, Stone Temple Pilots, Staind, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Coldplay, The Cult, Disturbed and more.
Shaquille O’Neal With 311 at the 2001 KROQ Weenie Roast
Remembering 311 + Shaq at Weenie Roast Performance
Nick Hexum Remembers Performance With Shaq
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