Kendrick Lamar’s recent Super Bowl LVIII kickoff performance became a poignant tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, as Lamar took the stage alongside his cousin Baby Keem. The performance, hosted at a private undisclosed location for a Visa Cash App event, showcased Lamar in an informal suit, paired with the iconic ‘Grinch’ Kobe 6s, a symbolic nod to the legendary LA Lakers icon.
View this post on Instagram
Released on Christmas Eve in 2020, the Nike Kobe 6 ‘Grinch’ features a distinctive scaly textured upper in a venom-green hue, representing the serpentine inspiration behind Bryant’s Black Mamba persona.
Kendrick Lamar’s public admiration for Kobe Bryant dates back to 2017
Lamar’s homage to Kobe Bryant is a recurring theme in his work and public appearances. In 2020, he narrated a Nike ad titled ‘Better: Mamba Forever,’ released on August 23, which would have marked Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday. The ad, celebrating universal progress and highlighting Bryant’s relentless pursuit of improvement, encapsulates the essence of the Mamba Mentality.
Lamar, having met the five-time NBA champion before his passing, keeps the Hall of Famer’s memory close, consistently finding creative ways to pay respects.
In 2022, Kendrick Lamar utilized deep fake technology in a music video, transforming himself into various iconic black entertainers and athletes, including Kobe Bryant. The video garnered attention, including praise from LeBron James, showcasing Lamar’s innovative approach to celebrating the legacies of influential figures.
The Heart Part 5 https://t.co/DlnQO2g5nw
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) May 9, 2022
The mutual respect between Lamar and Bryant was evident in a ComplexCon 2017 interview, where Bryant likened Lamar’s on-court mentality to his own. Bryant expressed that the hunger to succeed and prove oneself on the court was a shared trait. The interview delved into their respective journeys to greatness, offering insights into the parallels between their accomplishments.
The ongoing connection between Kendrick Lamar and Kobe Bryant extends beyond surface-level admiration, emphasizing a shared commitment to excellence and continuous improvement. Lamar’s consistent tributes underscore the lasting impact Bryant had on him, both personally and professionally, making their relationship a noteworthy intersection of music and sports culture, showcasing the enduring influence of Kobe Bryant’s legacy.