Shaquille O’Neal Stage Dives for First Time During Festival DJ Set
"I did something I never did before," Shaquille O'Neal says in a video he shared online this week (Sept. 27). "The Diesel just stage dove."
Indeed, the footage captures the former NBA player AKA Shaq, AKA DJ Diesel — all 7-foot-1 and 300-plus pounds of him — plummeting from the stage and into the eager (but quickly flattening) crowd at this past weekend's Lost Lands Festival in Ohio. O'Neal, currently a sports analyst and frequently a product spokesman, played a DJ set at the fest on Sunday (Sept. 26).
Watch the clip down toward the bottom of this post.
But is it really the first time Shaq has stage dived? The famous athlete could be splitting hairs, as two decades ago, he crowd surfed during a surprise appearance at the KROQ Weenie Roast.
The basketball icon cropped up onstage during 311's Weenie Roast gig, playing an original song called "Psycho" that features songwriting input from 311 members. At that show, in 2001, Shaq ended up with a bloody mouth from crowd surfing. In 2019, Shaq was spotted in the mosh pit at yet another fest.
"Psycho," at one point captured in a studio version that includes 311's Nick Hexum and Chad Sexton with Korn's Fieldy, was earmarked for a 2001 Shaq hip-hop album that never materialized. The effort, which had a provisional track listing and many rap collabs alongside the more aggressive nu-metal jam, was known as Shaquille O'Neal Presents His Superfriends, Vol. 1.
"'Psycho' is just the other side of me," O'Neal told MTV News at the time. "The side that I'm really not allowed to show. It's just how I get sometimes."
Hexum contemporaneously added of the song, "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 and how he just has to bust out sometimes."
Although the Superfriends album remains unreleased, a studio version of "Psycho" can be found online. From 1993 to 1998, O'Neal released the hip-hop albums Shaq Diesel, Shaq Fu: Da Return, You Can't Stop the Reign and, finally, Respect, which contains a cut called "Psycho Rap (Interlude)" that may have inspired the 311 collab.