BANG! NEWS – LL Cool J advised Kobe Bryant against releasing a gangster rap album.
The 52-year-old rapper has recalled a time when his late pal – who was killed, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, in a helicopter crash last month aged 41 – played him a hip hop record he had recorded, but LL was “confused” and told him gangster rap was “not what you need to be doing”.
He said: “We talked about rap. He played me this album, this gangster rap album and I was like, ‘Kobe,’ I said, ‘Come on. That’s not what you need to be doing [laughs].’
“He had a gangster rap album. He played me that album, we’re sitting in a parking lot. I was confused, I was sitting there like, ‘What are we doing? You got endorsements, what are you doing?’ “
LL joked it was the “funniest moment” of his life listening to pro basketball player Kobe perform gangster rap.
He said: “It had to be the funniest moment of my life, listening to him do gangster rap.”
While Kobe didn’t make a side career out of rapping, he did release a single, ‘K.O.B.E.’, in 2000, but didn’t end up dropping the album.
But Kobe performed his titular song at the 2000 NBA All-Star Game – a basketball exhibition match, hosted annually by the National Basketball Association – in 2000 with Tyra Banks.
And LL joked the “world was laughing” at the performance.
He told Entertainment Tonight: “Yeah, we’re not gonna pretend like we wasn’t laughing.
“Like, yeah, yeah yeah the world was laughing, that was not – but you know, he took his shot. He took his shot.”