So the draft is coming up in a few days, and the free agent market goes WILD a few days after that. What's a Becky to do in the meantime? I'm not into mock drafts for the same reason I'm not into rampant trade speculation... "When something actually happens...we'll talk." And I'm DEFINITELY not ready to deal with the prospect of several more years of the Vince Carter Era.
So instead, you shall get the long awaited "What the hell does the name
of this blog mean" post. No, Urban Dictionary will not be helpful in solving this mystery. So you are just going to have to read along a bit. I alluded to writing this months ago, not
that anyone remembers, and it's been something I've been meaning to
do...and it just hasn't gotten done. This changes now.
A lot of people remember Shaquille O'Neal's groundbreaking album Shaq Diesel. Most notably, they remember the absolutely riDICulous lyrics, they remember Shaq teaming up with Fu-Schnickens on "What's Up, Doc", or they remember the Reebok commercial with my personal favorite song in 6th grade, "Shoot, Pass, Slam."
Most people were not as cool as me though (and by "cool" I mean "silly") so their Shaq Diesel expertise ends there.
(Note: this does not apply to Curtis Granderson. This automatically makes him 100x more awesome than he already was, by the way.)
One of my other favorite songs (yes, I may have even played this one to pump myself up before softball games...don't judge me, I was 12!) from this album was "Giggin' On 'Em." It revolves around a loose premise of Shaq being a dominant force capable of "giggin'" on anyone who dares get in his way. There are some absurd lyrics, a stellar contribution from Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, and at the end, a suberb list of "fellas and peoples" on which Shaq has succeded in "giggin'."
Disclaimer #1: A fairly extensive internet search turned up absolutely no listing of the lyrics to this song anywhere. Lots of "removed at request of the artist" and "no lyrics exist for this song in our database." So I had to go in and do the dirty work myself. Yes, 'tis true, I transcribed the full lyrics of "Giggin' On 'Em." You're welcome.
Disclaimer #2: Shaq mumbles a bit. The lyrics I grabbed are not entirely accurate. So I'm not including them all here. If anyone wants what I came up with, send me an email and I will gladly send you "Becky's interpretation of what Shaq is saying in 'Giggin' On 'Em'" as well as a sweet little personal message, just for paying attention to me.
For this post though, I present to you:
"The Gems of Giggin' On 'Em."
First, the verses:
Shaq starts out by introducing himself to you, the listener:
Hi, my name is Shaq and I wanna go pop
I gotsta have the hip in my hop
So what he's telling us here is he's completely badass.
And not willing to fit the molds of what pop music was all about in 1993.
If you're curious, it looked a little something like this. Which makes no sense to me. Because Jeremy Jordan was fuckin GANGSTA.
Oh, and um...don't do a Google Image search for Mr. Jordan...there is apparently a gay porn star by the same name, and I just learned that the uh...difficult way.
Enter with a frown, then I leave with the smile
You’re soon to figure out that Shaq is worth your while
Cuz seein’ is believin’ and ya best believe it
And if you’re from Belize, well then ya best Belize it
Um...look. From everything I've heard, Belize is one of the most beautiful vacation spots in the world. It's chock full of history, amazing aesthetics, and exciting things to do.
But I have to, HAVE to ask...how far does Shaq's knowledge of the country go? How far did it go in 1993?
Don't get me wrong, Shaq could have been an expert on Belize when he wrote the lyrics to this song and I would fully accept this as making complete sense...but I have a hunch he was having some fun with ah..."wordplay."
"Believe? Belize? That's gold, Phife Dawg, gold!"
Sometimes I get crazy and this is how I feel
Ben Franklin who? Put Shaquille on the hundred dollar bill
I'm sorry, Mr. O'Neal, but I'm afraid that just doesn't sound like enough to get the U.S. Department of Treasury to change the currency. That's this country, anyway. Maybe you should try Belize?
(Cheap one. Sorry.)
But I’m the Shaqnificent standing in my b-ball stance
I know ya heard
I start fires like Donnie Wahlberg
OK, first? Where did "Shaqnificent" go? I want to bring this back. It's not even on his Wiki page! This is an atrocity. All other nicknames other than "The Diesel" and "Shaqnificent" should be banned from here on out. Because Becky said so, that's why.
And second? Dude, Donnie Wahlberg was charged with arson in early 1991. Even when Shaq Diesel came out, people were listening to this going, "Start fires like Donnie Wahlberg? Timely!"
And of course, by "people listening," I mean...uh...me. And Curtis Granderson. Maybe one other guy. Oh, and Shaq's mom.
I get vexed when ya disrespect
Should I put you in check or should I break your neck
You think you’re hard but your lyrics are soft
I hate when MCs yell to get their point across
Ahhh, he's just talking tough. He doesn't really wanna break anyone's neck. He's being all figurative and stuff...he'll battle you, yo...RAP BATTLE YOU. Don't BRING those weak ass rhymes up in Shaq's grill...man. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. I don't know where I'm going with this.
When it comes to the micrah P-H-O-N-E
I got maaad lyrics and other words plenty
When an MC wants to battle, then it’s on
What the hell made him think he could get with Shaquille Rashaun?
Now it starts becoming clear that he is trying to let you know that all this hard talk on his end is referring to his lyrical mastery. He's provoking. He wants to rap battle. He's ready for YOU. All comers.
I mean...you see what he did with the word "microphone" there, right? Me, I wouldn't mess. But I'm also catastrophically white, so that doesn't actually prove anything.
You run your jibs, but you get no dibs
My style is deadly like the virus that we all call hiv
OK, now that's just awesome.
Granted, I don't know exactly what a "jib" is, other than it's possible to dislike the cut of someone's.
But he rhymed it with "hiv" as in H.I.V. before people were commonly using that phonetically and way before AIDS started being funny.
I’m top choice with the ragged-like voice
Fix my lips for the mike, make sure it sounds moist like a
Betty Crocker or a Duncan Hines cake
And my delivery?
It sounds frosty like a shake
This always made me hungry. I really like cake a lot. And frosting. In fact I might have to go buy some...maybe chocolate...no, maybe the kind with the little rainbow candies in it...oh. Sorry. Got carried away there for a sec.
So what does a frosty delivery sound like? Does that mean it's "cool" or "chill"? And...is that a good thing? And even so, I feel like a shake is way colder than just "cool" and "chill." Or "chilly." Or not?
I'm getting confused.
Personally, I would just like to know how Shaq keeps his lips in a constantly moistened condition. Because I'm addicted to lip gloss and lip balm and things of that nature (I buy them compulsively, as I have mentioned before) and would really appreciate any helpful tips the Shaqnificent could share with me.
Big up myself every time rewind
I come rough like McGruff I take a bite out of crime
Yeah, you read that right. No "timely" joke here...McGruff is here to stay.
What is piquing MY curiosity though is...how exactly does Shaq come "rough"? A man of his size makes this a particularly frightening notion.
Of course, we are just going to assume he's still talking about his prowess on the micro-P-H-O-N-E and not pay any attention to the fact that I constantly allude to S&M in my posts.
That's right, nothing to see here. Move along.
Annnnyway. There are 2 versions of the chorus of the song.
Shaq segues into the first by saying about the MCs that yell to get their point across that he "gigged on 'em." Fair enough.
Check out how he leads into the 2nd chorus though:
Little teeny weeny bits
Cuz my style’s all that shit
Phife Dawg is in the house
So sit Ubu sit, and watch me gig on 'em
Wait...what? "Family Ties"? Really???
I'm not even going to ATTEMPT to decipher the "teeny weeny bits" part. A smart girl can only read really far into early 90s rap lyrics before getting a little loopy.
So to the chorus then?
The chorus is Phife Dawg doing his thang while Shaq alternately says things like "And I gigged on 'em" and "Sit back and watch me gig on 'em."
I'm not sure WHAT the hell Phife is saying.
Something about...taking the "S" off Superman's chest? And facing reality? Because of Big Shaquille's mentality? And Shaq being the lyrical champion? And...bubbling? Somehow? And the need to dismiss all the "powder puff" DJs? And jumping on his truck? And lyrics coming from...behind...God's? Back?
Ahhhh....yeah, you lost me, Phife.
So when Shaq starts up his 3rd verse, Phife cuts him off. He says, not in so many words, "No, Shaq, it's not really necessary to get into all this...in the alternative may I suggest you compile a list of those that you have gigged upon thus far?"
And that is what the Diesel does.
He rattles of a list by saying "So-and-so, I gigged on him," while Phife backs him up with "Yeah...yeah...yeah...yeah...yeah...yeah" and later on with "Hell yeah...hell yeah...hell yeah hell yeah!"
Let's look at this list:
1) Greg Anthony
Why Shaq heads up this list with Anthony is beyond me. He's at least a foot taller than him. And I'm not sure of any particular beef between them. Chalk it up to Shaq warming up.
2) Alvin Robertson
Another guard? Also about a foot shorter than the Diez? Who wasn't even that relevant by 1993? Gotta admit, Shaq, you're confusing me a bit....
Maybe he's just letting the word know he's not into wife beating. We'll give it to him.
3) Manut Bol
Well, THAT'S hardly fair. I mean, yeah, he's really really tall. But back then, dunking on Manut Bol was like dunking on Shawn Bradley. And by all accounts, he's a great guy. That's just mean, Shaq.
4) Grandmama (yes, he calls him "Grandmama" in the song)
OK, fair enough. LJ wasn't all that tall, but he was pretty badass. I'll give it to him.
Plus, of course, there's this.
Not really relevant, but still awesome.
5) Me Phi Me
Um...if there is a rap battle between these two in video archives somewhere? I'd pay top dollar to get my hands on them. (Note: for the unemployed such as myself, that means around $20.)
If not, then I have no idea where this came from. Like, whatsoever. Did Shaq have some sort of big problem w/ Me Phi? If so, why? These are questions for which I just don't have the answers.
6) Country people
Yeah, I am officially lost. Country people? People from the country? Big Country? He wasn't even in the NBA! I don't know...I just don't know.
7) Jeffrey Sledge
8) Jeff Fenster
All I've got on these last 2 is that they are or were higher-ups at Jive Records. Who knows if that was the case in 1993.
ButShaq Dieselwas ON Jive Records. So I don't fucking know.
The song is mostly about lyrical mastery and showing sucka MCs the way it's done, also maybe dunking on point guards.
However, it may have been wise to wait until the list was a little bit longer and, yes, more distinguished to put this song out.
But I love it.
And I'm not entirely sure WHY this bit of slang, seemingly created by Shaq himself, never caught on.
It's been almost 15 years since Shaqnificent attempted to change our verbal landscape with this particular bit of vernacular.
I say we give it a whirl, yes? I feel it has some Big Diesel-sized potential.
Even if not...well, you know you will find Ben and I here giggin', 7 days a week.
OK, maybe not 7 days a week, but at least 4 or 5.
OK, maybe not 4 or 5, but at least whenever we feel like it.
Thanks for reading.
You may now consider yourself an expert in giggin'.