Hip-Hop and Basketball have always had an intertwined relationship – Kobe Bryant had a slice of that pie too.
Shaquille O’Neal and Damian Lillard are the two most famous NBA rappers. Miles Bridges and Mason Plumlee are some upcoming rappers. One name that is overlooked and often forgotten is Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba was making music with some of the top names like Tyra Banks, Destiny’s child, and Brian McKnight while he was practicing to win a 3-peat.
Kobe Bryant was a man of many talents – from hit songs to Oscar-winning short films, he had it all. His song with Tyra Banks titled “K.O.B.E” was his debut single. This, and he was on the remix of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name“. Yes, you read that right. Kobe was on Say My Name.
Like the perfectionist that he was, he did something people would be scared of doing. Kobe moved to New Jersey, where he stayed close to the producers. Exposing himself to the culture, Bryant met artists like Nas, producers like Track-Master, etc. They even vouched for his ingenuity with words – he was not someone who was cringe but was in fact, someone who could be legit.
Kobe Bryant was a decent rapper – he did have a flow, and was smooth with his lyrics as well
With all the rappers today barely making sense with their mumble rap, it is a breath of fresh air to see non-musicians like Kobe stick to the old ways of the culture. Granted he grew up in a time where mumble did not exist, but we also didn’t get to see these until recently, so it does make some sense.
Ignore the potato quality of the video and you’ll see fans enjoying his performance. What is even crazier is that this man decided to switch languages up, and decided to do a whole verse in his second language, Italian. That has to be one of the most Kobe flexes, ever.
Here is a better quality version of the single that made music giants like Sony sit up and take notice. They wanted him to be more of a mainstream rapper – someone who could play on the radio with minimum cuts. Someone like a Will Smith perhaps.
What went through the mind of Kobe we will never know. For they both were fresh princes from Philly, born and raised. The playground is where they spent most of their days. While one was the Fresh Prince from Philly, the other was on track to become the Black Mamba from Pennsylvania.