Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was undoubtedly an exceptionally talented athlete. Still, one of the lesser-known facts about him is that he pursued a brief career as a Hip-Hop artist.
While millions of fans around the world mourn the death of the Lakers legend, the unfortunate incident also brought to light a short endeavor Bryant pursued as a rapper in his 20s.
Kobe Bryant during the 2007 NBA Playoffs at US Airways Center on May 2, 2007. | Source: Getty Images
In the summer of '98, when Bryant spent his time in the New Jersey mansion of hip-hop record executive Steve Stoute, training to be the next big name in the competitive sport. However, his primary reason for staying there was because he was trying to assume the role of a rap-star.
Following the footsteps of the NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, Bryant signed a contract with Sony Records to release his first album "K.O.B.E," which debuted in the 2000 All-Star games alongside the stunning model Tyra Banks.
A year prior, during his third season in the league, Bryant was also featured in Destiny's Child track "Say My Name" to show off his wordplay skills in a new remix.
At the start of it all was the Mamba's first attempt at rhyming in the 1997 track "Hold Me," where he appeared alongside Brian McKnight. In the wake of his untimely demise, the song has garnered well over two million views on YouTube.
Unlike his basketball career, his success as a rapper was fairly limited. Mamba's early tracks ignited critics like Dexter Thomas of the "Los Angeles Times" to make harsh remarks on his work.
"That cheap-sounding beat, the uninspired hook, the awkward chorus - this is more off-target than those airballs he threw in 1997 against the Utah Jazz."
Despite the unforgiving criticism, his attempt at music is what led him to meet his wife, Vanessa. Bryant met Venessa during the shoot of one of his music videos, where the two developed a bond that would later lead to a successful marriage with four kids.
However, because of the negative comments going around his music at the time, the actual song was shelved and never saw the light of day. The scenario did change after his death, though.
After the death of the player affectionately called the Mamba, his fans are looking back and reminiscing his music. A fan recently tweeted a video of Bryant featured in the song "Hold Me" by Brian McKnight.
The song peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 35 on the Hot 100 chart. Not just that, Bryant's old vinyl records are going on sale on eBay for $100, whilst everything related to his music had been sold out on Amazon.