At the turn of the century, it seemed like everyone was a fan of Kobe Bryant, the NBA’s heir apparent to MJ. That is until we heard the horrific news that would forever taint the public perception of the once beloved star. Of course I’m referring to the news that Kobe had released a rap single. It’s been nearly fifteen years since I first listened to this horrendous recording, and I’m still waiting for my 8-carat diamond ring and an apology from Kobe. Or maybe instead of a ring, it would be an earring, since it was my virgin ears that suffered the pain? Or maybe in this analogy, basketball gets the diamond ring and fans receive the multi-million dollar settlement? This is too complicated. Let me get back to something simple, like Kobe’s rap lyrics.
That single I speak of has the woefully unoriginal title of K.O.B.E. and features Tyra Banks, yet another person that has absolutely no business crossing over into music. Kobe’s verses are a hapless blend of empty lyrics, wooden flow, and one-syllable rhymes (when there are even rhymes at all). See the Dr. Seuss inspired delivery of this line:
I don’t know, yo, these women come and go / Like the wind they blow, how do I know it’s for sure?
It sounds as if he is freestyling this or maybe reading the lyrics for the first time, but rumor has it that he put long hours into what was intended to be a full album release. Lucky for him, Sony saved him the extra embarrassment and dropped the album. Kobe also appeared as guest on songs by Brian McKnight and 50 Cent, but once again failed to add to his hip hop credibility.
Kobe is a world traveler and speaks fluent Italian. Maybe he should have taken a page out of Tony Parker’s book and rapped in another language. That approach might have fooled us Anglos into thinking he was competent at this rapping thing. This Grantland article tells a different story, painting Kobe as a talented, lyrically complex emcee that was pressured into being another Will Smith by his label. It is a good read, but I’m simply not buying. Until I hear some evidence of this talent, he will always reside near the bottom of our Raplete Rankings.[Image: via]