top of page

LL Cool J Says He Stopped Kobe Bryant to Release a Gangster Rap Album

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, LL Cool J spoke about Bryant’s musical dreams and how he persuaded him to not release a gangsta rap album.

“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 rapper said. “He had a gangster 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?’

LL added that the experience was one of the funniest of his life. “Like yeah yeah yeah – the world was laughing, that was not — but you know, he took his shot. He took his shot.”

Kobe Bryant’s love of rap music

Bryant was already a star player with the Lakers and on his way to championship fame when he decided to take on a second career as a rapper. He followed in the footsteps of his teammate and friend, Shaquille O’Neal, and signed to Sony Records determined to show off his rap chops.

He released his debut studio album, K.O.B.E., in 2000 and performed the lead track at the 2000 All-Star games with supermodel collaborator Tyra Banks by his side. Banks sang on the hook of the song.

Bryant also remixed Destiny’s Child’s popular “No, No, No,” got a young and undiscovered 50 Cent to perform on a track on the album, and also did a collaboration with R&B singer Brian McKnight.

While shooting an accompanying video for the release of his first album, Bryant met his wife, Vanessa.

Kobe Bryant will be remembered as a sports icon who set the standard for hard work. His career has been unmatched, with five championships, several best player honors, Olympic medals and a post-retired life as a coach and mentor.

Watch LL Cool J's interview down below.


bottom of page