Jay-Z Discusses His Last Conversation With Kobe Bryant

The rapper discussed his relationship with the basketball star during a Q&A at Columbia University.

Jay-Z (L) and Kobe Bryant (R) greet each other at the Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets game at Staples Center.
Noel Vasquez / Getty Images

The rapper discussed his relationship with the basketball star during a Q&A at Columbia University.

Tributes and remembrances to Kobe Bryant have been pouring in since the basketball star’s death, and now, Jay-Z has added his own memory to the conversation. At a recent Q&A at Columbia University, the rapper discussed the final conversation he had with Bryant, Fox News reported.

“‘You’ve gotta see Gianna play basketball,'” Jay-Z said Bryant told him at the rapper’s New Year’s Eve party.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash, along with his daughter Gianna and seven other passengers, on January 26.

Jay-Z elaborated on his answer by discussing his relationship with Bryant and how grateful the basketball star was for his children.

“That was one of the most hurtful things because he was so proud. The look on his face…I looked at him and said, ‘Oh she’s going to be the best female basketball player in the world,'” the rapper continued.

Jay-Z also said that Bryant looked up to him and that they’d hung out multiple times prior to seeing each other on New Year’s Eve. He said that Bryant was in a great space and seemed incredibly proud of his daughter’s skills. The rapper was also frank about how tough the loss has been for both him and Beyoncé. He concluded by saying that Bryant was “a great human being.”

Beyoncé also paid tribute to Bryant with a post on Instagram that featured the former Laker planting a kiss on his daughter’s head. The singer said she would continue to pray for Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, and their three remaining children.

Although Jay-Z and Beyoncé have offered up two of the most high-profile tributes to the basketball great, they aren’t the only celebrities who have felt the need to memorialize the Lakers legend. In the days since his death, numerous tributes have been posted across social media, Vogue reported.

Jay-Z has recently made headlines due to his actions at the Super Bowl. He and Beyoncé were seen sitting during the national anthem. At the same talk where he memorialized Bryant, the rapper made it clear that he did not sit for the anthem intentionally. He claims that — while it may have seemed like a political act — he was actually just worrying about the show, which his company Roc Nation produced.

“So we get there and we immediately jump into artist mode … now I’m really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start?” Jay-Z said during the talk.