Lil Wayne – Kobe Bryant | Lyrics Review and Song Meaning
There probably is not another song that pays tribute to NBA All-Star legend Kobe Bryant, like Lil Wayne’s 2009 track titled “Kobe Bryant” does. So in this grim hour of the passing of Kobe Bryant, we pen this article, dissecting the lyrics, in absolute homage to the iconic basketball player, husband, father and friend.
The Death of Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant, five-time NBA champion and legendary shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, died following a horrific helicopter crash on Sunday, 26th January 2020. The 41-year-old retired basketball player was onboard a helicopter with nine other people including his family when it crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among those killed in the crash. The cause of the crash remains a mystery as of now but has been inclined towards bad weather.
Kobe Bryant was a man of multi-talents. He was a business mogul with corporations such as Kobe Inc., Mamba Academy and several brand deals. He won an Oscar for his short film ‘Dear Basketball’ in 2018. He also wrote ‘The Mamba Mentality: How I Play’ book in 2018.
This song by Lil Wayne is a touching tribute to the late legend. Several A-list personalities such as Stephen A. Smith, Elie Seckbach, and NBA stars such as LeBron James and Mikael Pietrus also provide vocals on this track. The song appears on Lil Wayne’s 2009 mixtape ‘Tear Drop Tune 2.’
Listen to “Kobe Bryant” by Lil Wayne
It is only right that Kobe himself starts off the song. Lil Wayne inducts Kobe on to his own tribute song, and the legend goes on to sing about his passion in the game. He wants to be the best and if he is not, he wants to be the best that an opponent wins against.
Many Celebrities Pay Tribute to Kobe Bryant on Social Media
Demi Lovato penned an emotional note on Instagram expressing sadness and shock in hearing the news; “This makes me so sad. Kobe you were always so sweet to me. Known you over 10 years.. not super well but we always joked about you coming over and playing that game of horse! You will he so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now. RIP Kobe 💔💔💔”
The second intro done by popular sports TV personality Stephen A. Smith considers Kobe in a god-like status within the game. “There’s nothing that Kobe Bryant can’t do,” says Smith. He also alludes Kobe’s success to his motivation and dedication to the game. This sets him apart from the rest of the stars in the game.
Some NBA Stats of Kobe Bryant
5-time NBA champion: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010
7 NBA Finals appearances: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010
2-time NBA Finals MVP: 2009, 2010
NBA Most Valuable Player: 2008
2-time scoring champion: 2006, 2007
15-time NBA All-Star: 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Source: Black Mamba/Facebook
In these lyrics, Lil Wayne expresses his sincere gratitude to Kobe for making him love the game again. He also calls Kobe the ‘greatest on the court’ and himself ‘greatest on the verse.’ Another time Wayne calls Kobe a ‘basketball beast’ and himself a ‘rap monster.’ It looks like Lil Wayne wants to be the Kobe of the rap game.
Lil Wayne references Kobe’s iconic ’24’ jersey twice in the first verse. LA Lakers today announced that they will be retiring jersey numbers 8 and 24, worn by Kobe, forever in respect to the legend.
LeBron James, another legendary figure and student of Kobe, jumps in on the track to praise about his mentor; “I mean, he’s amazing.”
Lil Wayne comes back for the second verse with some stats of Kobe Bryant. He recalls the iconic match with the Toronto Raptors, in which Kobe scored 81 points. This score is the second-highest team total in a game in NBA history.
Lil Wayne goes on to say that Kobe is a man without rest in and out of the game. He works hard every day and it shows in his in-game skills.
LeBron James admits that he is envious of the style of play of Kobe. We feel you, LeBron. He also says that Kobe is, in his eyes, the greatest player to have played the game.
Last week, LeBron James passed Kobe to achieve the second-highest points in NBA history by a player. Kobe had nothing but best wishes for his friend;
Check out this beautiful mosaic of every shot made by Black Mamba in the court for his 30,699-shot career.
In the fourth verse of the song, Lil Wayne namedrops some legendary stars in NBA history; Lamar Odom, Shaquille O’Neal, Robert Horry, Paul Gasol, Derek Fisher, Trevor Ariza, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. Why all these names? These are all the players Lil Wayne thinks Kobe would triumph over!
Let us hear your thoughts about this song and about Kobe Bryant. Join us to wish a happy retirement in heaven for the Lakers legend. Gone but never forgotten! #RIPMamba