Shaquille Davis, known online as No Life Shaq, is a YouTuber from Greenville, South Carolina, who gained popularity by uploading passionate reactions to hip-hop songs with hilarious catchphrases like, “Hold UP! Oh MAH God!”
More recently, he’s expanded his reach by reacting to other genres of music, pop culture, and trending news stories. The setting for his videos is always the same: Shaq’s in his bedroom, seated in his gamer chair, Pittsburgh Steelers swag in the background, posters of 2Pac and Eminem—his top two—hung proudly on the wall behind him.
Funny thing is, generally speaking, I can’t stand reaction videos. But when YouTube’s algorithm accurately suggested I might like No Life Shaq’s reaction to “Killshot”—which was Em’s response to MGK’s diss track, “Rap Devil”—I was like, “Man, this dude feels what I feel when a new song hits just right.”
Of course, it didn’t hurt that I, too, am a fanboy of Eminem. So we had that in common. But still. The delight No Life Shaq took in hearing this particular track for the first time tickled my soul. I enjoyed his enjoyment. Ditto nearly three million other people who’ve subscribed to his channel, I suppose.
I was also blown away that he could hear these complicated lyrics for the first time ever, hit pause, and immediately tell us what was meant by the lines. He’s definitely got a mind for music.
In an interview with Complex, he explained it like this: “Doing so many hip-hop reactions, especially Eminem, you have to really pay attention to what he’s saying. It translates over to the other genres of music. You don’t want to go right through it not knowing what the song is about. No matter what I react to, I try to understand the meaning of the song.”
Based on that, I woulda thought No Life Shaq dabbled in rapping himself, but apparently not: “I started loving music since I was a little kid. That’s basically all we had to bring us together other than sports. So I’ve been loving music all my life. Everybody thinks I’m a rapper; I’m not a rapper. I’m just a normal person that loves music,” he said.
So how does he choose new songs to react to? At this stage, he doesn’t. His fans drop their requests in the comments, and he just goes off of that. Shaq’s favorite reaction so far? Believe it or not, it’s “Free Bird.” “I had so much fun doing that video,” he recalled. Not that you care, but my personal favorite was his reaction to Lil Dicky’s freestyle on Sway in the Morning. Check it out.
I dunno. No Life Shaq geeking out over a song I’ve been playing on repeat is like getting a second basket of biscuits at Red Lobster. That’s the best way I can explain it. By the way, he’s been doing YouTube full-time since 2017. Between ad revenue, merch sales, and brand deals, we estimate the man’s worth over $1.5 million dollars at this point. “Dats tuff!”