The 24 Best Kobe Bryant References in Rap History

Rappers show their love for Kobe all the time. But who did it best?

kobe bryant lakers suns

Image via Getty/Christian Petersen/Staff

kobe bryant lakers suns

This weekend, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant turns 36. It's hard to believe, isn't it? Kobe has been a stalwart presence in the NBA for nearly 18 years now, defining superstardom in the post-Jordan era in a way that only LeBron James has been able to match. Bryant is a dogged worker on an almost inhuman level. But whether it was his 81 point game, his five NBA championships, or his 16 All-Star appearances, Bryant has found multiple ways to impress his fans and pacify his critics since entering the league.

In the process of becoming an NBA legend, Bryant has also gained the attention of rappers all across hip-hop, from Jay Z to Kanye West to Juicy J. Kobe is a metaphor for greatness; he's an emblem for success. If a rapper brings up Bryant's name in a song, you can almost be sure that it's being used to discuss balling, making money, or essentially just being a boss. 

In celebration of Kobe's birthday, we want to remember all the greatest moments in hip-hop when Kobe's name was immortalized in a verse. And in honor of his number, we chose the 24 Best Kobe Bryant References in Rap History, from worst to first. He'll always have one over Jordan in our book.

“He ain't stylin' enough to be ballin' / Kobe Bryant, Odom, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce” —Azealia Banks

azealia banks

“I'm hard as a mothafuckin' ounce of raw/Dribble rock like Kobe Bryant bounce the ball” —Game

the game

“Kobe in my two cups, two fours got me too stuck” —King Louie

king louie

“When I roll up on niggas I tell them to move slowly/Or get 8 to their chest like a Kobe jersey” —Beanie Sigel

beanie sigel

“One hood with 20 four-four's like a cloned Kobe Bryant” —Kendrick Lamar

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Song: “The Heart Pt. 2”

Album: Overly Dedicated

Year: 2010

As the current king of Los Angeles rap (and, if you believe him, New York) Kendrick Lamar is practically obligated to give Kobe a shout-out. And he hasn't disappointed. In 2010, when Kendrick was still grinding on the mixtape circuit, his Overly Dedicated tape featured a reference to the Lakers legend on the very first track, “The Heart Pt. 2”. Kendrick doesn't take the obvious route of comparing himself to Kobe Bryant, but instead flips Bryant's number into a metaphor for gun violence during his larger discussion of poverty and racism in America.

“You fuckin' with the Kobe Bryant of rap/With a MAC-11 cocked back, ready for sure, ready for war” —Kurupt


“I might be in a Lex watching the game tonight/I got a hundred on Kobe, hope he playing it right” —Lil Wayne

lil wayne

“With a splash of Monster Kody/Shoot faster than Kobe” —Jay Z

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“Went by any means, who said it best?/Kobe Bryant mind state, I'm shootin' til I'm accurate” —Jay Rock

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“Came up didn't think I'd pass shit, underrated slam dunk, nigga never passed it/Come around my way boy, you'd never last it, Kobe Bryant of the rap game, nigga never pass it” —Lil B

lil b made in america

“Your boy Sandy Brock was ill, like Kobe Bryant with the ball/It's no exceptions, even the biggest giants gotta fall” —Trife Da God

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“You know how I be/Last week Kobe couldn’t do without me” —Shaquille O'Neal

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“My mansion sittin' on 40 acres/Who da neighbors?/Kobe Bryant from the Lakers/Now that's paper” —Juicy J

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“Kobe ’bout to lose a hundred fifty M’s/Kobe my nigga, I hate it had to be him/Bitch you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym” —Drake


“I'm tryin' to see a hundred of 'em/Kobe Bryant money, nigga you ain't gotta love him” —Rick Ross

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“I might come to baseline like Kobe Bryant did way back in '03 and then body y'all" —Montana of 3000

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“I had dreams of the league, one day I’d play Kobe/Or walk up to Puff and he would really know me” —Kanye West


“Where my ring and my confetti, I'm Kobe Bryant ready/Pink Rose and chronic smelly while I'm stumbling out the telly” —Lloyd Banks

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“We hit the spot to chill with the Fuji Grill/She ordered the Kobe beef like Shaquille O’Neal” —Kanye West


“They say G.O.O.D. Music like the new Miami Heat/Shit comparin' them to us, man, they gotta add Kobe” —Big Sean

big sean iheart radio

“And when it comes down to the recording/I must be LeBron James if he's Jordan/No, I won rings for my performance/I'm more Kobe Bryant of an artist” —Lil Wayne

lil wayne

“Tryna get that Kobe number, one over Jordan” —Kanye West

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“MVP, MVP/Kobe Bryant AKA Envy Me/In knee deep, smash any D/Whoever he is, he can't guard me” —Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne

“Hundred thousand in one pocket, I get paid like I'm Kobe/When these fuck boys play games, man I just play like I'm Kobe” —Chief Keef

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