LL Cool J was one of the many A-listers in attendance at The Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant, which took place at the STAPLES Center yesterday. Directly following the beautiful ceremony, which included performances by Beyoncé and a heartbreaking eulogy by Vanessa Bryant, LL Cool J spoke to Entertainment Tonight about his connection with the basketball legend, noting that he actually talked the Black Mamba out of releasing a gangster rap album.
We all know Kobe as one of the greatest basketball players to ever live. Whenever he touched the ball — and that was often — something magical would happen. He would sink the most difficult shots, make remarkable passes (which he never got enough credit for) and did so much more. For many, he was the reason why they picked up an orange ball in the first place. He also was well-rounded in the music world, having lent his voice to a few rap singles over the years. While he had signed a record label deal in 1999, an album never came out of it and LL Cool J has something to do with that.
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Whether or not we would have actually enjoyed a rap album by Kobe Bryant at that time is debatable but, if you’re not a fan of the hooper touching a microphone, you have LL to thank.
“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,'” recalled the legendary figure of his time spent with Bryant. “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 says that looking back, it was a highlight in his life. “It had to be the funniest moment of my life, listening to him do gangster rap,” he joked.
I don’t know about you but I wanna hear this album now…