Shaq Starts Label, Taps, Kayslay, Makes NBA History

Miami Heat basketball

star Shaquille O’Neal is financing a new record label, which recently landed

a distribution deal with KOCH Records.

KOCH will handle

the marketing and distribution for the label, DEJA34 Records. Mark Stevens,

a long-time friend of Shaq is the CEO, while mixtape king DJ Kayslay has been

named head A&R of the venture.

“It’s

easy to finance a company that you believe in,” O’Neal said.

Stevens also expressed

enthusiasm in working with KOCH, noting the company’s dominant position

as an independent record label.

The first release

will be a new full-length by DJ Kayslay, slated for release in April 2005.

Several months

ago, O’Neal returned to rap, aiming mixtape insults at former L.A. Laker

Kobe Bryant and Virigina rapper Skillz.

The label news

comes as O’Neal reaches another milestone in his professional basketball

career, his 22,000 point, becoming the 20th player in NBA history to achieve

the mark.

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