On Sunday, music’s best gathered in Los Angeles for the 55th annual GRAMMY Awards. Taking home hardware were Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Drake, among many other artists. Conspicuously absent from the ceremony, however, were the smattering of NBA players who have tried their hand at music. If you’ve sampled some of the sonic styles of these players, you’re probably grateful they didn’t appear on stage; if you haven’t, do not fret: Bidding Basketball has scavenged eBay’s “infinite inventory of NBA junk” for rare, memorable and/or quirky music produced by NBA players. Time to bust out those headphones.
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Kobe Bryant “K.O.B.E.” 12″ Record Vinyl LP REC29 Rare!
Buy It Now: $40.00, plus shipping
As far as I know, only three K.O.B.E. EPs exist on the planet: Kobe Bryant has one, Dime contributor, Bryan Horowitz, has another, and then there’s the one in this auction. All others produced were systematically destroyed by Bryant and his Mamba Army to prevent anyone else from discovering his misguided hip-hop vanity project.
Back in 2000, Kobe — presumably for the same reasons as so many other athletes — had the bright idea of jumping into the rap game. He was signed by Sony/Columbia Records (by an A&R who probably is in a different line of work now), and slated to release a proper album entitled, Visions. Although Kobe’s LP never came to fruition, Sony/Columbia did drop a promotional EP, K.O.B.E., that included two tracks from Kobe Bryant, rapper: “K.O.B.E.” featuring Tyra Banks (yes, that Tyra Banks) and “Thug Poet” featuring 50 Cent, NaS and Broady Boy. You might remember the former from Bryant’s perplexing NBA Jam Session performance at the 2000 All-Star Game or as “Let Me Know (Radio Edit),” which was included on a five-track sample CD called Slam Jams packaged with Spalding basketballs.
Granted, I’m far from a music critic, but based on the two cuts from K.O.B.E., even my amateur ears can discern how bad this is. Consider the following bars from the title track:
Are you the type that brag the jewels you flash
The type-type with your ex-man and push his Jag
The type that love no scrubs or pigeons and got mad
The type that can’t stand a women with her own cash
You know, like lime, claim she ain’t rat
The type that get loud in public, refrain my hand from a slap
No time for y’all, too busy for y’all
Plenty of dimes turn me on and turn me off tryin’ to show off
Get lost, grow up, real women, roll up
Let yourself go, if you feel this, let me know
Indeed, for all of the talents Bryant has on the hardwood, he’s more like Mark Madsen in the booth.
So while bidding on K.O.B.E. might not be worthwhile from a sonic perspective, it is a rare collectible for die-hard fans of the future Hall of Famer. Just don’t be surprised if a user named, “NotKobeBryant24” outbids you for it.