In a new interview for MTV’s “Fresh Out Live” series, Lil Wayne reflected on his friendship with Kobe Bryant and what he admires most about his legacy.
“Just being able to sit down and talk to him about life,” he named as his favorite memory with Bryant. “Seeing that… as a kid, being a fan, watching him on TV and going to a game and just not knowing him at all—and just being a super fan and knowing, ‘Wow he’s really that person off the court in every situation in life.’”
“He really has that mentality, just relentless in everything and he strives to be the best in everything,” Wayne recalled. “It’s impossible to have a conversation with him and walk away from that conversation not trying to be better at something.”
Wayne paid tribute to the late NBA star on his most recent album, Funeral. The record includes a 24-second moment of silence at the end of track No. 8 “Bing James” — a nod to Bryant’s famous jersey numbers.
“About his legacy — plain and simple — I think the thing that I admire the most is how it evolved, and constantly evolved,” Wayne continued. “He became a champion. It’s very hard to become a champion. Not to mention, he did it again — not to mention, he did it again — not to mention, he did it again and then again.”
“The admiration comes from after all that. Then, [he got] an Oscar, and all of a sudden, you listen to Vanessa talk at the Staples Center [memorial] the other night, and now you get the full rounding of it,” he said. “You hear how he was a perfect dad, he was a great dad and you hear how he was this and that, but you gotta hear that from his children and his wife… And then when you listen to Vanessa speak about it, and that’s when it just comes full circle, and that’s what his legacy was to me. He was, again, relentless and strived to be the best in every single lane there was in life.”
See a snippet from Wayne’s MTV interview below. The full interview will air tonight (March 6) at 5 p.m. EST.