I don’t want to spoil the entire thing for anyone, but there is a must-read piece about Kobe Bryant’s ill-fated rap career on Grantland that you must read. But before you do that, let’s enjoy what may be the two funniest parts of the thing, just because you can imagine the respective mouths that said these things.
First, here’s Kobe Bryant doing what he does best — scolding a teammate for failing during a competition.
After a few rounds, Broady ran out of lyrics and the sparring session wound down. Kobe then chided his teammate. “Yo, you got to be in lyrical fitness, man,” Bryant told Broady, referencing a well-known lyric by the rapper Canibus.
I know the internet uses LOL when anything is even the least bit funny, but I legitimately L’d out L when I read this. Kobe Bryant has always been Kobe Bryant, I guess, even when he was trying to be a rapper. Too good.
Now it’s the Shaq portion of the post, and as you might expect, Shaq talking about rap is actually Shaq rapping about Kobe rapping.
Shaq also took shots at Kobe in 2001. “I’m at All-Star Weekend in D.C. and I ran into Shaq,” Rick Nice says. “He’s wearing a white fur and we’re in the VIP section in the hotel. I am trapped in the corner. He has a radio with CDs and he’s playing the beats and he’s rhyming, freestyling, making s–t up off the top of his head. ‘Something something and I can’t stand Kobe / Something something and I rap better than Kobe / Something something I flip skills better than Kobe / I score more than Kobe.’
After a while, I’m looking at him like, ‘Why are you going so hard at Kobe with these rhymes?’ I didn’t know what to feel. It felt weird. I’m trying to flirt with girls and Shaq had me in a headlock rhyming about Kobe. He said, ‘I got bars. I got bars for Kobe.’ He had this radio that looked little in his hand. He had beat CDs and was changing the CDs and rapping and wouldn’t let you leave until you heard his rap. I was like, ‘Wow, OK.’”
If you’re not already doing it, please imagine Shaquille O’Neal, chilling in a hotel bar while wearing a white fur coat with a tiny portable CD player in his hand, forcing people to listen to him rap about how much better of a rapper he is than another basketball player, who just so happens to be his teammate and archnemesis. This is quite possibly the least hip-hop/most Shaquille O’Neal thing that has ever happened.
So yes, read the whole thing, especially if you want to have your mind blown by people sincerely praising Kobe Bryant’s skills on the mic. But also read it for people laughing about Kobe Bryant’s skills on the mic. It’s the best of both worlds.