LL Cool J Says He Discouraged Kobe Bryant From Releasing A Gangsta Rap Album

Kobe Bryant was a man of many interests, and at one point early in his professional basketball career, he came close to launching a hip-hop career. After a couple of songs and performances, that dream was put to rest, but he had an album ready to go. Now, LL Cool J says Kobe played him an unreleased gangsta rap record, and after hearing it, he discouraged Kobe from releasing it.

Speaking with ET, LL Cool J said of hearing Bryant’s music:

“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 [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?’ It had to be the funniest moment of my life, listening to him do gangster rap.”

He also reminisced about Kobe’s performance of his Tyra Banks-featuring song “K.O.B.E.” at the 2000 NBA All-Star Game, saying, “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.”

This comes after the public memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant that was held yesterday, at which Beyonce and Alicia Keys performed.