Bryant was a man of many talents and enjoyed a career in mentoring and philanthropic endeavors after his playing days with the Los Angeles Lakers. Many fans may remember that soon after entering the NBA, he attempted to launch a music career and released a song titled “K.O.B.E.”
Hip hop icon, LL Cool J said in a recent interview that the all-world shooting guard had recorded much more than one song and, in fact, had an entire album. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, the NCIS: Los Angeles actor revealed the time Bryant played the album for him.
The rapper said it was back in 1999, which was before he released the self-titled single, and the project had a dark gangsta rap tone. LL Cool J was incredulous and told the Lakers star his honest opinion.
“We talked about rap. He played me this album, this gangsta rap album, and I was like, ‘Kobe,’ I said, ‘Come on dog. That’s not what you need to be doing.'”
The “Momma Said Knock You Out” rapper said he listened to the full album sitting in a car next to Bryant, and he could not understand why the professional ballplayer opted for edgy gangsta lyrics.
“He had a gangsta rap album. He played me that album, we’re sitting in a parking lot,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “I was confused, I was sitting there like, ‘What are we doing? You got endorsements, what are you doing?'”
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You left a legacy that will never be forgotten. I Remember us hanging out on set when you were a rookie. Rest In Peace & power great one. This one was NOT easy for any of us who loved you brother. But GOD has you now; and your inspiration and work ethic will inspire future generations for years to come. May the almighty embrace you, your daughter GiGi, and all the other souls that were on board. ????????
LL Cool J laughed while retelling the story and said it was an experience he will never forget.
“It had to be the funniest moment of my life, listening to him do gangsta rap,” the Queens, New York, native said.
He also recalled the time Bryant performed his rap single along with Tyra Banks at the 2000 NBA All-Star Game. The rapper praised his friend for taking “his shot,” but said it was comical and believes even Bryant thought it was foolish.
As covered by The Inquisitr, Banks spoke about doing backup vocals on the All-Star’s only rap single. The model said they were at the Teen Choice Awards when Bryant told her he was recording an album and wanted her to appear on a track. It was on the set of the song’s music video that he met his eventual wife, Vanessa.