Back in 2009, Lil Wayne released an ode to one of the greatest basketball players of all time—Kobe Bryant. More than a decade later, the rapper performed 'Kobe Bryant' at the 2020 BET Awards to honor the late NBA legend just five months after his tragic passing.
Lil Wayne stood in front of giant number twenty four during his performance, which was intercut with clips from Bryant's legendary NBA career. The track celebrates Bryant's passion and dedication for the game, as well as his unmatched work ethic on and off the court. "Kobe doin' work/Two four on my shirt/He the greatest on the court/ And I'm the greatest on the verse/ Going for the 4th ring like it was his first/ Gotta get the bling," Lil Wayne raps.
To properly pay tribute to the late basketball star, Lil Wayne added new lyrics to the end of the track. At the end of his performance, "Heart goes out to Vanessa and the whole Black Mamba family," he added. "Rest in power/ Let's hope for peace/ Black lives matter, facts."
He also added a lyric to honor Bryant's daughter Gianna 'Gigi' Bryant, who passed away alongside her father in the helicopter crash last January. "This is Black power status/ Two fingers for the Mambacita/ I'm screamin' Black Mamba matters," Lil Wayne raps.
The rapper has paid tribute to Bryant twice before this performance, as well. He added twenty four seconds of silence to the track 'Bing James' off his recent Funeral album. In March, Lil Wayne told MTV: "What I admire the most is how [his legacy] evolved. We knew him as the kid phenom straight from high school. He hit the league and murked it, [then] he became a champion. It’s very hard to become a champion. He did it again and then again."