K-Dot salutes Kobe. After honoring N.W.A at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Kendrick Lamar is paying tribute to another L.A. icon, Kobe Bryant, as he gets ready to play his final NBA game following 20 historic seasons as a Los Angeles Laker.
“How do empires last when there’s no longer an emperor?” Kendrick asks in the ESPN clip. “I mean, we got you, but at the same time, we got you. Your blood, your sweat, your tears, and even your DNA is placed in these L.A. concretes, man. Nothing will ever replace that or erase that. Forever great in our hearts. With that being said, know that it’s never goodbye. It’s simply respect due…forever.”
The video was shot at The Forum, Kobe’s first home as a Los Angeles Laker before the team moved to Downtown L.A.’s Staples Center. It was written by Scoop Jackson, a writer, columnist, and producer who’s profiled Kobe several times throughout his career.
Kendrick has rapped about Bryant on many occasions. Most recently, he name-checked the Lakers star on “untitled 02 06.23.2014.” when he compared his relationship with TDE CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith to Kobe’s bond with coach Phil Jackson, who he won all of his five championships with.
Bryant’s final game is slated to take place Wednesday (Apr. 13) when the Lakers take on the Utah Jazz. Watch Kendrick’s “Fade to Black” dedication to the Black Mamba below.