NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal took a trip down memory lane in his last appearance on “Drink Champs.” He recalled the studio session between him and the late Notorious BIG to record their 1996 single, “You Can’t Stop the Reign.”
In the interview, Shaq revealed that at some point he re-recorded his verse for the song in an effort to make sure it was perfect for Big to step onto. “So when I finally found out Big was going to do it, I did a verse, but I didn’t like it,” he explained. “My thing is, Big [was] One, I have to impress Big, because if Big says, “No, that’s terrible,” I’m done. I won’t get a second shot.
Besides being a four-time NBA champion, Shaq has always expressed his love for music. Indeed, after signing to Jive Records in 1993, the former Los Angeles Laker released his first album, Shaq Diesel. Ultimately, the project peaked at number 25 on the Billboard 200, but it wasn’t until his third studio album that Shaq worked alongside The Notorious BIG for the synonymous title track.
“He’s like, ‘Okay big dog, it’s tight, it’s tight,'” Shaq said, recalling the first time Big heard the song. “And then I said, ‘Okay, he likes it.’ I’m gonna let him and Lil Cease. I said, ‘Here’s Big, here’s the pad and the pen. Press that button right here, I’m gonna be in the house,’ and he said, ‘No .I’m ready now,” and I said, “What do you mean ready now,” and he started smiling, and he got in there, and he killed him.”
While Shaq says Big’s initial verse didn’t make the final cut of the song, he did reveal that he was the only person with access to the original copy. “I’m the only one who got it and I’ll never play it. He left and I almost had a tear in my eye because I had to press that button and I was like “Umm Big” and he said “Yeah, yeah, for the kids, for the kids . My bad Diesel,” then he did the verse of the song. I got it, but I’m not going to play it.
The version of “You Can’t Stop the Reign” featuring The Notorious BIG reached No. 54 on the Billboard Hot R&B Hip Hop Single and Tracks chart. There are three renditions of the song, including a DJ Quick remix as well as a unique version with three verses by Shaq.
Watch Shaq’s full “Drink Champs” episode below.