Toronto is finally being recognized as one of the major Hip-Hop capitals in the world; producing some of the hottest MCs and producers in contemporary Hip-Hop music. Although it’s no surprise to Toronto, the successful international crossover of many Canadian MCs got people asking “who got next?” and Shaq is answering “I’M THE TOP PROSPECT!”. Being that there is a buzz on Shaq as the number one draft pick for the new face of Canadian Hip-Hop, it’s only right that you get to know the man behind the music…
Born November 16th 1992, Shaquille “Shaq” Baptiste was raised in the Bleecker Street/ St. James Town Community located in the downtown core of Toronto. Being of West Indian descent, Shaquille’s lyrical ability should not come as a shock. He often credits his early exposure to Hip Hop and RnB music for teaching him the logistics of word play and rhythmic flow. But Hip-Hop music obviously remains the biggest influence in Shaquille’s life. A kid of the ninety’s, Shaquille grew up at a time when Hip-Hop was becoming a major contender in the music world. Witnessing what Hip-Hop music could do made Shaquille not only want to be a part of the movement but become a leader.
At the age of twelve Shaquille began writing lyrics and rapping; continuously developing his flow and subject matter in order to have a signature sound to go with his signature image. Influenced by “new school” Hip-Hop heads like Big Sean,Ransom, Cory Gunz, Wiz Khalifa and Hip-Hop heavy-weights Jay-Z , Big Pun and Fabolous, it’s no wonder why Shaquille’s sounds is described as the collision of ninety’s and the millennium. With so many rappers dubbing themselves as the “best rapper alive” Shaq wants his talent to speak for itself. But being the best is definitely an aspiration for him; a title that he will not rest until he gets. And he’s got the whole city behind him.