"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 rapper laughs.
After a devastating helicopter killed Kobe Bryant on Jan. 26 alongside 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers, many will remember the NBA legend as an exceptional basketball player and father. But not many will remember him as a rapper -- except for LL Cool J.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, LL Cool J reflected on Bryant’s side-hustle in the rap game in the late '90s. Following the 1996 NBA Draft that kick-started his basketball career, Bryant signed a record deal with Sony in 1999 to get his rap career off the ground.
“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 NCIS: LA actor chuckled as he recalled the moment. “He had a gangsta rap album. He played me that album, we’re sitting in a parking lot. I was confused. I was sittin’ there, like, ‘What are we doing? You got endorsements, what are you doing?’ It had to be the funniest moment of my life, listening to him do gangsta rap.”