What It Was Like to Work With Shaq: Watch DIESEL’s “GORILLA WARFARE” Collaborators Open Up

A larger-than-life presence on and off the court.

Today marks the release of the debut electronic album from the biggest DJ in the world, Shaquille O'Neal, fans of whom affectionately call DIESEL. Titled GORILLA WARFARE, the album features 10 collaborations between the four-time NBA champion and some of bass music's finest.

If you're like us, you've probably always wondered what it's like working with the elite athlete turned dubstep superstar. We've joined forces with a number of his GORILLA WARFARE collaborators to share their firsthand accounts of their experiences.

Jessica Audiffred

"He's always into helping others, especially young producers."

Audiffred, who co-produced "NO FEAR," shared how shocked she was that the Basketball Hall of Fame inductee not only knew who she was, but was also a fan of her music. She says that despite him being an extremely busy person, he was fully present in all of the recording sessions and is passionate about helping young music producers.

Jessica Audiffred on Working with DIESEL [EDM.com] (; 1:05)


"He made it apparent from day one that he wants to put on the underground and give some new talent a chance to rise up."

After working with the former NBA MVP on "BANG YOUR HEAD," Hairitage shared a story about telling his parents about his new collaborator, only to have them respond, "What the f*ck." He explains how working with Shaq was great because he's a decisive guy and isn't shy to tell his colleagues what's working and what isn't.

Hairitage on Working with DIESEL [EDM.com] (; 1:10)


"We have Shaq screaming one of the coolest things that I've ever f*cking heard in my life, which was 'Crankdat motherf*cker...'"

The "HEAT" collaborator shared that he was surprised to receive a DM from Shaq, who asked to send him some new music. Crankdat says that within minutes, he received feedback from the big man and was shocked at how quickly he responded and how much energy he brought to their recording session.

Crankdat on Working with DIESEL [EDM.com] (; 1:44)


"He makes so much time for his fans and artists he likes and it's just an incredible thing, honestly."

Before working on "WARFARE," CELO reveals that he too received an unexpected DM from DIESEL. He explains how supportive Shaq is to up-and-comers, that his taste in music is divine and that he's very involved with the arrangement of his tracks. He details how O'Neal maps out sounds he wants and works with his collaborators to realize the vision in his head.

CELO on Working with DIESEL [EDM.com] (; 1:20)


“Started out with a DM from Shaq saying we need to make a song together ASAP, and went on explaining how it needs to be the nastiest trap song out there. I had just made bunch of new demos that month, so I shared them with him to get his thoughts on them, and after he heard the early demo version of 'KXLLA' he said, “That's the one!”

We then began developing 'KXLLA' more and more to both of our likings until we got to the point where we had to test it out. I then flew down to Orlando for Shaq’s Forbidden Kingdom set, and he brought me out to finally debut “KXLLA” to the world. When we saw the crowd's reaction to the drop we knew it was ready!”

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"'Watch Ur Back' is a record Diesel and I worked on for about two years. We went through a few versions of the song overtime, but once we got Blackway on the verses, and Diesel did his thing on the second drop and the hype vocals, we knew right away we had an anthem, and the reactions we’ve gotten playing it live confirms it for us even more.”


“It’s always an honor to collab with DJ Diesel. Diesel brought me to my first ever EDM show and I quickly became a fan of the energy. He’s been super supportive of my career since the start, so when he and VRG sent over a beat they’d cooked up asking if I wanted to be involved, I had to deliver. I laid my verses down the night they sent the song, at an AirBnB in Lisbon, under a blanket because we didn’t have a booth and I wasn’t gonna keep them waiting. That’s how pumped I was.”

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“It’s still crazy that I got to collab with Shaquille O’Neal! Growing up being a huge Lakers fan, I would’ve never had making a song with Shaq on my bucket list and I am so happy I was able to.

It all started with me and Kozmoz constantly doing Zoom calls, working on a new song. We had a small idea going and when we sent it to Shaq just to have him potentially play it out, he was in love with the idea so much that we decided to make it a triple collab. I am super excited for you guys to hear 'Hit Em’ Like!' We put our all into this one."

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"I originally started the collab when I was in Europe traveling. Around this time I was feeling defeated and lost creatively—that is when me and Chassi started to become closer friends, hopping on calls and keeping each other motivated. After I sent him the project he absolutely bodied it. Shortly after we started sending it out and Shaq started dropping one of the earlier versions in his sets.

Fast-forward, Shaq reached out and said he wanted to be apart of it so we sent him the project, he worked on it, added his vocals and it became what it is now! Later on he told us he wanted it for his debut album! I absolutely love this song and it's always a secret weapon in my sets!"

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"DIESEL and I wanted to shed light on our shared love for Balkan music and Romany cultures by making a track that was not only bass-heavy, but influenced by sounds outside the US.

My entire brand is to educate those on Middle Eastern and international sounds, so what better than to team up with one of the best DJs in the game than making 'Romany Adventures.' Plus, to add trap, bass AND dubstep together, that was just an automatic banger."

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“Working with Shaq was definitely at the top of my list of things I never would’ve imagined happening. We first met at a show together and his first words to me were, “Damn brotha you throw some hard stuff." The rest was history after that.

We instantly linked up shortly after that and came up with our song 'WARZONE.' Shaq is a true artist, producer, performer and writer. His creativity and workflow is unmatched and I am so excited for y’all to finally hear what we made.

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Facebook: facebook.com/shaq
Twitter: twitter.com/djdiesel
Instagram: instagram.com/djdiesel
Spotify: spoti.fi/3zoP9WO

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