Lil Wayne honors the late Kobe Bryant in a major way at last night’s BET Awards 2020.
The memory of Kobe and Gigi Bryant lives on months after their untimely passing thanks to a moving tribute by Lil Wayne at Sunday night’s BET Awards ceremony. The longtime LA Laker fan and close friend of Mamba gave an emotional performance over memorable clips from Kobe’s 20-year career. Weezy stood out from the stack of other performances, including Meg Thee Stallion and Chloe & Halle, for the updated, remixed version of his 2009 track addressing Bryant’s talent, legacy, and the current Black Lives Matter movement.
The “A Milli” rapper also paid homage to the fallen star with his January release Funeral, including 24 seconds of silence at the end of the 8th track, a clever ode to Kobe’s famous jersey numbers. Performing before a digital stage with ’24’ and ‘MAMBA’ in surrounding lights, Tunechi brought a heartfelt vibe to the virtual show.
Lil Wayne delivered lines from the original song which was featured on the 2009 mixtape ‘Tear Drop Tune 2; “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 last ring like it was his first/ Gotta get the bling, do it for Kareem/ Two-four so nice, my flow so mean..” He then went into the reworded portion of the track attacking with his usual heavy hitting flow, “Watch me get ’em like Kobe, Sick wit’ it, no Covid/ Black clouds break open, rain down black roses..”
Lil Wayne added some more memorial bars, including lines dedicated to Kobe’s daughter and protege Gigi, who was also killed in the tragic helicopter crash. “This is Black entertainment, this is black power status/ Two fingers for the Mambacita/I’m screamin’ Black Mamba matters/ Heart goes out to Vanessa and the whole Black Mamba family,” he raps
Vanessa Bryant sent her approval moments later with a repost of the clip, spelling out her sentiments in the caption “#Mambamentality #Mamba and our #Mambacita @liltunechi #2 #24 #8 forever #GiannaBryant @kobebryant “fingers for THE Mambacita #GigiBryant Beautiful Tribute “G-O-A-T like Kobe-B.”
Lil Wayne, who caught flak back in 2016 for saying he didn’t know what the #BlackLivesMatter movement was and didn’t feel connected to it, made sure to convey his changed mood and full support in light of ongoing racially charged events. “Weezy F, G-O-A-T like Kobe B/ Rest in power, and hope for peace/ Black Lives Matter, facts, as a matter of fact..” he spits at the end of the touching tribute.