Kobe Bryant’s hall of fame career is coming to a close, and we’re still learning interesting factoids about the Black Mamba. For instance, according to his old teammates, Kobe had Jay Z lyrics memorized by the day after a new album dropped.
The Players Tribune caught up with ex-Lakers Brian Shaw and Devean George who spoke on Bean’s Hip-Hop music.
I always tell people this story when they ask me about Kobe. We would always freestyle on the back of the bus. Whenever a new Jay-Z album came out, it was a big deal. Guys would get it Day One and be rapping their favorite songs. Maybe they knew the first few bars or the hook. Well, Kobe would be on the back of the bus rapping every single line of every single song the day after the album came out. I’m talking every lyric. It was genuinely amazing. Nobody could figure out how it was possible.
Shaw’s sentiments were co-signed by George:
It was incredible. It didn’t make sense. I was always wondering, How in the world is this guy learning the lyrics so quickly? We’re all buying this stuff right when it comes out. We’re all listening to it. I don’t know the lyrics yet. How do you? It just came out 24 hours ago, bro!
I would picture him sitting up all night with his headphones on, scribbling the lyrics over and over in a notebook like my kids do when they study for an English test. The damn album just came out yesterday, and he knows it front to back.
George summed up the roots of Bryant’s lyrical memorization when he added, “He was obsessed with greatness.”
You can be Jay Z would agree.
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Source: Hip Hop Wired