sometimes, benign is fine (or at least fair)

You Can't Stop the Reign (T.W.IsM.)
Shaquille O'Neal

By Kory Wilcoxson

The juggernaut that is Shaquille O'Neal continues to roll on unabated. His move to L.A. has only thrust him further into the limelight, which means only one thing: "Kazaam II" could be more than just a bad dream. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Luckily, O'Neal can rap a little better than he can act, as he shows on You Can't Stop the Reign, the big man's third album. There has not been a whole lot of evolution since his first album, aside from the fact that Shaq does even less rapping here. O'Neal only handles about 60 percent of the vocals, and two of the songs don't even feature him at all. He's helped in several places by talent like Bobby Brown, Mobb Deep and The Notorious B.I.G.

Lyrically, Shaq is covering the same ground. There's raps about how cool he is ("Still Can't Stop the Reign"), songs about how good he is ("Bad Dog Stomp"), and songs about how rich he is ("Legal Money"). It might be overkill, but there's a lot worse rap being sold out there.

Give Shaq his props. He might not be Chuck D, but he's not bad. And, more importantly, he's making rap that can be listened to by 10-year-olds. Because he is such a huge star, Shaq has to walk the line between being "hard" and not offending the legions of Shaq_ettes. Shaq is no dummy, and he manages to live large in both worlds.