Not only is “Shazam” a fantastic track, showcasing a colorful beat and witty rhymes, but it also doubles as a Shaq diss track. If you don’t remember, Shaquille O’Neal actually used to have a rap career going. Don’t believe me?
The song here weaves as tangled web, so I’m gonna parse these points out to avoid confusion:
1. The track is credited to Chicago rapper Serengeti, but is actually fronted by his alter-ego, Kenny Dennis.
2. Back in the 90s, Kenny was a member of the hip hop group Tha Grimm Teachaz.
3. Tha Grimm Teachaz were signed to Jive, which was the same label Shaq was on in the midst of his rap career.
4. One night, at a Jive showcase in ’93, Shaq-Fu made some comments about Dennis’ mustache, which he’s been upset about to this very day. The lyrics in this track are rife with vengeance, dissing Shaq’s acting career and calling him out as a “jolly green giant.”
It’s a lotta background for a single track, but it is a diss track. But One doesn’t really need to know the background to enjoy what’s going on here. A Jel & Odd Nosdam put an ominous keyboard sample into the instrumental. There’s a light, eerie drone that helps set the track’s threatening tone, too. Countless samples buzz by, creating a cacophony of different voices and sounds–it reminds of Paul’s Boutique in a way, actually. As far as Kenny goes, he’s furious. Never get between a man and his ‘stache.
This track is off the forthcoming Kennny Dennis EP, which is set for an April 3rd release via Anticon. Download the full song here.