Kobe Bryant’s ties with hip hop ran deeper than a mutual respect. The late NBA legend could also hold his own in the booth and even recorded a song with Run-D.M.C.
The pioneering hip hop group, who paid tribute to Bryant during their “Walk This Way ft. Aerosmith” performance at the 62nd Annual Grammys, revealed the secret collaboration during an interview with Yahoo Entertainment.
“Years ago, somebody connected [Run-D.M.C.] to Kobe Bryant, and we were going to make a record together,” Rev Run told the outlet. “We met at the studio [in L.A.] because Kobe at the time had a relationship with Adidas, and we had that big record, ‘My Adidas.’ So we hung out all night and discussed options of how we should make the record.”
“He liked to rap, we knew he was a good basketball player that wanted to rap with us, and we had a great night, took pictures,” Rev continued. “He was excited to meet us, and we were excited to meet him... It was just beautiful hanging with Kobe — and starting to record a record that we never finished.”
During his high school days, Bryant was also the member of a hip hop group called CHEIZAW and signed to Sony Entertainment. His single “K.O.B.E.” was dropped in anticipation of his 2000 debut album Visions, however the project never materialized. Bryant also ran his own independent record label Heads High Entertainment for about a year and can still be heard on remixes of Brian McKnight’s “Hold Me” and “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Where is the Kobe track?’ I don’t know,” Rev said. “We were running around, doing things, and maybe it’s in the archives of some studio, or a demo that we made in our house that we was going to give to them to download their vocals. But somebody will find it.”