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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 Jay

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Sarah Jay is HipHopCanada's Associate Editor in Chief. Sarah is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

  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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