Following reports of Kobe Bryant’s death, we’re revisiting his brief rap career.
In the midst of Kobe Bryant’s 20 season NBA career, the five-time Lakers champion was working on his lyrical fitness. Rewind to 1999/2000 when the then-Sony Records signee was following in the steps of esteemed basketball vet/occasional DJ and rhymer Shaquille O’Neal’s size 22 kicks. Led by the single “K.O.B.E.” (which he performed and debuted at the 2000 All-Star games with super model collaborator Tyra Banks), Bryant released his debut (and only studio effort) K.O.B.E.
Below are some of the stand-out releases from his short rap catalog during the days he rocked the No. 8.
That time he remixed Destiny’s Child‘s “No, No, No”
“You probably hate me now like Nostradamus/ I’m just keepin’ it real with you, honest”
That time Kobe served as a secret guest on his friend/foe Shaq’s “3X’s Dope”
Unfortunately there is no video available of the track but Grantland revealed the tidbit in 2013.
That time he hopped on Brian McKnight‘s “Hold Me”
“Your love’s a sword slicing gently through my body/ Burn so sweet, blood boils when you speak”
That time he got a young 50 Cent on the Biggie and Nas-sampling “Thug Poet”
“Yes, I am speakin’, but I ain’t writin’/ So cold, I put the ice in nicest/ You too broke to pay attention/ My style is priceless”
That time he recruited Tyra Banks for hook duty on the self-titled “K.O.B.E.”
“Uh, what I live for? Basketball, beats and broads/ From Italy to the U.S., yes, it’s raw”