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ShaqIsDope – Early Beginnings: The Shaquille Baptiste Story [EP]

Toronto, ONShaqIsDope recently launched a brand new EP entitled Early Beginnings: The Shaquille Baptiste Story. I need to put it out there: this dude is like Drake 2.0. I’m not even kidding, you guys. He sounds eerily similar to Drizzy. Especially on “Writings On The Walls” and “The Greatest,” and “Emotions.” Serious Champagne Shaqqy, up in here.

ShaqIsDope - Early Beginnings: The Shaquille Baptiste Story [EP] -


Think of this project as an intimate introduction to S.I.D. and everything he’s about. Yes, I know that every artist and their grandmas are telling us their stories these days. But this EP is chock-full of emotions. Shaq goes beyond the whole, “this one time this thing happened to me so I decided to write some verses” thing that so many cats do. He’s telling us what’s happening, and he’s telling us how he feels about it. Like when he boasts about having his dream girl on the Hova audio-sampled “Opportunity (What Jay Z Said)” but admits that his biggest fear is that she is going to break his heart into pieces.

Or on “Emotions.” Which is explores the great-lengths we all go to in order to avoid feeling feelings (“We’ve been drinking/ Smoking/ Tryin’ to cope with our emotions”). It’s a track about how Shaq feels about other people avoiding feelings. So many feelings. Everywhere.

The 11-track project includes 10 tracks and one bonus cut. It was executive produced by Johnny Blaise (who also designed the cover and track-listing). We start off with a nice shout-out to the T-Dot on the intro. And then Shaq gets into the nitty-gritty of his “Early Beginnings” and how they’ve brought him to where he is now. Oh, and here’s another Drizzy parallel for you: SID only had one collaboration on the entire EP (Rob Markman is the only cat who makes a guest-appearance on the project). Serious #NoNewFriends business, right there.

And then by the time we get to the outro at the end of the EP (entitled “Thank You”), I’m brushing off Shaq’s gratitude (“I want to thank you for listening/ This is like a christening”) and I’m thanking him. For this beautiful project. Shaq also has a knack for picking out some of the illest beats. Production credits on the project are courtesy of The Cratez, L&X Music, Matt C., Mj Nichols, Muvafux, One Tone Beatz, Pitt tha Kid,Vince Jordan and S.I.K..

Twitter: @shaqisdope

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Sarah Sussman is HipHopCanada's Associate Editor in Chief. Sarah was born-and-raised in Calgary, AB. She is a freelance writer and photographer, as well as a 2013 graduate from SAIT Polytechnic's journalism program. She writes about hip-hop and fashion (and sometimes a combination of the two). She also manages a vintage clothing boutique on-the-side. Sarah has written for The Weal, Where Calgary, Essential Calgary, and Our Alberta. Sarah started working with HipHopCanada in Jan. 2013 as Canadian Prairies Editor. She has been fortunate enough to interview some pretty cool cats, including Action Bronson, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, Maseo (De La Soul), Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest), and more. Twitter: @IHeartTART

  1. ShaqIsDope – Emotions (Prod. mj Nichols) [Audio] ·

    […] Toronto, ON – T-Dot’s own ShaqIsDope recently dropped his latest single entitled “Emotions.” You might remember this track off Shaq’s recent EP, Early Beginnings: The Shaquille Baptiste Story (shameless self-promotion: I reviewed the project and you can read it over here). […]

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