A few years ago, when Kobe Bryant was still playing at his prime for the LA Lakers, Cedric Ceballos revealed an interesting fact about his rap career.
We’ve seen a lot of NBA players cross over into the hip-hop and rap music industry over the years. Tons of new-age players in the league have now begun putting mixtapes and albums out.
The ones who reign and are commercially successful, like Damian Lillard, are now in the mainstream through gaming platforms like NBA 2K and the like. However, a lot of fans won’t know that the game’s greatest player at one point was also dabbling in rap music.
Kobe Bryant released a 16-track album called Visions in the year 2000. The songs weren’t good hits and the album didn’t receive much radio play or great criticism.
However, a former teammate of the Black Mamba believes that we haven’t seen him at his best in the rap game in the public eye.
Cedric Ceballos praises Kobe Bryant for his rap, compares his style to Wu Tang Clan’s RZA and GZA
Cedric Ceballos won the dunk contest with his eyes blindfolded back in 1992. By the time he got to playing with the Lakers in Los Angeles, his best days were past him.
But the dunker par excellence was still around to see a young Kobe-and-Shaq connection building up on the team. He also helped contribute to it by building some team camaraderie during Kobe’s rookie year.
Ceballos told Lakers fans an underrated aspect about Kobe’s life – the man was a rapper behind the screens too. Cedric revealed in 2012 on the ESPYs red carpet that Bryant didn’t actually release his best rap on his album:
“Kobe’s got a Wu-Tang Clan style, he’s like GZA and RZA man. He’s got a style, you know Kobe’s a nice guy, he doesn’t like to let everyone know. But he’s got some mean lyrics.”
“The stuff that he put out, he was really commercial. It wasn’t the real Kobe. You need the album with the real Kobe, you know? The fierce Philadelphia street lives with stuff, he’s got some stuff!”
“His rookie year, we used to have a lot of freestyle battles on the planes. And man, he used to rip it up. Between myself, Shaquille and him and Corie Blount, you know, he used to come out on top a lot of times.”