Thursday, January 14, 2010

An anniversary Kobe wants to forget

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 4:44 PM

While watching Kobe Bryant get his fourth NBA championship on Sunday, 10 seasons after winning his first, cementing his legacy as one of the best ever and killing all argument of him as a lackluster leader, I couldn't help but think about another 10 year anniversary for the future HOFer.

K.O.B.E. (or "Visions") was set to drop in January of 2000 and now that the whole Shaq-less championship monkey off his back, I figure he could clear up this other unfinished business. The album featured guest appearances from rap heavyweights Nas and Beanie Sigel but it also had not so awesome track featuring Tyra Banks. That not-so awesome song was the lead single and was performed by the duo, along with Kobe jersey clad back-up dancers, at the YouTube legendary All-Star weekend performance.

On the court, he was coming fresh off his first All-NBA defensive team (the youngest to ever do it), first ring and building a more than solid foundation for his career.  Off the court, Bean was dropping rhyme ... and terrible ones!

Here's a taste of some of the things the Kobester dropped on that unreleased LP: "What I live for? Basketball, beats and broads" ... fair enough. How about, "think ya eyein' me, all along I'm eyein' you/The hunter becomes the hunted, girl, I'm preying on you" ... a little creepy but still, reasonable.

Where Bryant loses all credibility is when he decides to rap outside of his life experiences. "My microphones and glock nines/Black, I'm dipped in that." or "I rock like my ma's mean, name is cocaine/Place on my A-fiend list and pay you 'cane" Glock nines? Cocaine? Fiends? Were you serious Kobe; weren't you raised in Italy?

We may never know what possessed the Black Mamba to attempt the sell the world that he was a Thug Poet? How dare he jeopardize the careers of Nas and Beanie Sigel. Maybe it was the success The Diesel had as a crossover star in the early 90’s. Surely his bi-lingual flow would have some international appeal right? I mean other Lakers were shining back then. Derek Fisher had a brief, if entertaining acting career blossoming with cameos on LL Cool J’s In The House.

Luckily for Bryant, much like his little situation up in Colorado, it was widely forgotten about but what better time than now to address the haters.

Shaq has already bowed down via Twitter over his freestyle slam last year. Kobe has one of the best rappers alive, Lil Wayne, making tribute tracks. Why not gang up, take down the Colorado chick (who freestyled about their relationship on camera recently) and everyone else who's stepped to him? Imagine the downloads on iTunes! It'd be like those crappy championship t-shirt and framed ball packages Sports Illustrated is always giving away.

True fans can make a few quick google searches and get download the whole album but for the most part the pages of history chronicling Bryant’s rap career were glued together (probably by Sony) but there have still been many hoop stars to look for stardom in the recording studio.

- Allen Iverson moonlighted under the name Jewels and his track "40 Bars" was actually kind of good, but the Sixers (and the NBA) didn't want their biggest star at the time dropping parental advisory worthy albums.

- Tony Parker dropped Balance-Toi (or  "Move Yourself" in English) overseas which featured tracks with Fabolous  and Jamie Foxx more but since none of us have gotten around to translating lyrics, judgement will be reserved until later.

- Ron Artest put his "unique" persona on wax under his TruWarrior imprint a few years back. After seeing his album on the shelves at a used album store for $16.99 I can understand why it didn't fly off like another Queensbridge bred artist does.

- Chris Webber spit under the name C. Webb, and his 1999 album "2 Much Drama" went largely unnoticed except for the track "Gangsta Gangsta (How U Do It)," which believe it or not made the top 10 of the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. The 5-time NBA All-Star has seen much more success so far as producer, creating  "Blunt Ashes" and "Surviving The Times" for Nas.

- The late Wayman Tisdale was easily the most successful, hooper turned recording artist. Up until his death, he'd released eight jazz albums, all of which were well received including Face to Face which was #1 on the Billboard contemporary jazz charts in 2001.

Kind of like 2Pac became Makeveli, Kobe could once again flex his lyrical might under the name Black Mamba! Couldn't you hear it now, Hot 97 playing exclusive beef tracks between Black Mamba and Shaqtus all summer. Each of them assembling a murder's row of hoopers turned on. Who knows, if we get this whole thing together, Lil Desmond wont be the only one rapping in Nike commercials next season! (Because King James probably spits hot fire!)

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