The Day I met Kobe! My 28th Birthday to #2 GiGi and #8 Kobe Bryant (RIP Mamba)
For starters, Welcome back to my website. Later on updates on how I'm coming with my music and shows will be updated soon but as of now... While I spend my birthday in L.A. it has been a different type of birthday celebration for me...
So I told myself I wasn’t gonna be afraid to address the Kobe situation but I have been. I just got back from L.A. for a show I’ve done with my mom and crazy and blessed to say today is my birthday and even though I thank God for life, I also thank God for the people he allowed me to meet and talk to before they left this earth. I wasn’t home in cali when Nip died and I honestly never met him. But he was a cultural influence and leader as well when it came to what I do in entertainment. I honestly sent a couple beats to a manager that got songs placed on his Crenshaw mixtape. And years later, I sent some joints to her and right when I sent them, A month later, he passed on. And I felt the energy from 3,000 miles away. But for this situation, I must say being back at home felt really dark and really empty. I don’t know what it was. But it just felt mad absent. It was a feeling of L.A. I wasn’t used to feeling when I lived in Cali as a teenager. I moved to California when I was 12 years old. And my motivation for moving here was three things, the weather, the lifestyle and me being a diehard Kobe Bryant fan and I was determined to meet him. I had dreams to be the biggest producer or star ever. But I had to get around people that are on that level. The lifestyle of California made me want to leave Michigan quicker. It was something to look forward to. Being in L.A. and Cali was my safety net, as far as being inspired to create. The weather, the motivation of stars pushed me to get to that level. Going to the beach, writing by the water, of course the beautiful women you met outside of school or in school or just life in general it felt peaceful despite good or bad times. But this trip, The beach felt dark, streets didn’t feel peaceful anymore, it felt depressing, The traffic felt worse than ever than it always was. It’s moments you can sit in traffic in L.A. and feel pissed off but not depressed. This traffic felt different. I remember Kobe saying at his camp how much he hated the 405 freeway and that’s why he decided to get a helicopter. Because he didn’t want to be late to shoot around, meetings, training sessions or practices, and also miss family time plus anything else he was obligated to do. He was super professional and it paid off. People think, “he just had money” and no he was a business man that cared about his craft. Sitting on the 405 just to get to rehearsal two weeks ago, and including now, being late to a soundcheck because you can’t escape traffic… I was like “I see why Kobe has a helicopter” I’ve always said this to my mom. “I’m gonna have to get one cause this L.A. traffic is terrible.” The guy taught me how to start early and be professional. I was used to starting at 9am now I start at 5am because of him. And mentally, you’ll be surprised how much you get done when you start early. But being back home in LA, I knew despite what chaos we had in our own lives, in the city we can look forward to doing something that can inspire us. If The lakers were playing, we were prepared for a good day. If Kobe was gonna make a appearance somewhere, the memories was gonna make us reminisce and keep us motivated because when he came around, we were gonna be energetic about those moments. But he’s no longer here and I must be honest it didn’t quite sink in When he passed. I spent the whole day Trying to avoid the t.v. But when I did, it was on my phone... when I tried to delete the apps, I got the text messages. When I tried to just take a drive, It was on the radio….
Dude my reason for being fearless came from you dude (Kobe Bean Bryant). Idk what to say or how to explain it. I have two parents I call heroes. Outside of them, You, mike Tyson and Michael Jordan were the other three. I knew no matter how I was feeling. If I had some sense of Kobe fearless mindset going into the next day I was gonna make it through the day. It was a sense of hope when you stepped on the basketball court. When the lakers were scheduled to play a national televised game, even if We went through so much shxt during the week or the day, when we were notified, “the lakers play tonight.” It was like waiting to see Tyson fight, We were gonna wake up the next day motivated to be just as fearless as you. Sports has that kind of impact on people. Mentally it really helps a person’s decision making. It helps how a artist and producer like myself creates, how we choose to love and how we choose to express ourselves. I’ve had the pleasure of watching you play a total of five times LIVE outside of your camp scrimmages. I moved to La in 03 and I cried like a baby when I missed the chance to see you play in 04’ because tickets sold out when I wanted playoff tickets. But Two of those other times I saw u play was at your basketball camp and I actually got court side view. The crazy thing, just like Jordan, you played every game (Even pick up) like it was your last game. U never said... “oh well it’s high school kids. It’s off season I gotta stay in shape for next season and not play as hard. I’ll play light and just do regular training...” No, u played the game like it was a playoff game and I was able to witness it in person. I was blessed to meet you and talk to you during team photo shoots. The vision of me meeting you came true July 2007. You put your hand out and said to me, “What’s up my man you good?”….. I was like man, Dreams do come true, I kept saying to people.. “I’m gonna meet kobe” I got laughed at for it and here I am standing next to the other GOAT. I never thought in a million years I would shake your hand and I got that and a lot more. U was one of my offensive coaches at your camp (Your original kobe academy) when it first started in 2007. Yes I’m a kobe academy alumni from 07 to 08. You walked by randomly to teach us the triangle offense. You cared about everyone at your camp when you first started it. You was never “Hollywood” like most celebrities you meet. They come with a entourage and 50 bodyguards. It was just you by yourself, your wife and your 3 year old now 17 year old Natalia and young 1 year old Gianna.. and you were interactive with everyone. I remember I was in a free throw contest and u were standing on the baseline just staring at me…. And Dammit man... I was hella nervous. And your ass is gonna say.. “What you nervous for young bull?”…. like dude... it’s you foo!! Kobe Bryant giving me a mamba look… dammit man Tf you want me to look like dude ? I’m standing in front of one of my childhood heroes Lol ...do u know words have power ?? I remember being in middle school talking about.. “Kobe Kobe Kobe.. I’m gonna meet Kobe one day! I’m gonna be like Kobe.” I got mocked for it and laughed at, low-key bullied but the bullying didn’t really intensify until I got to high school and I had to deal with a coach that really hated the fact I admired you (Kobe) so much. But any who, then three years later I’m standing next to u having a full Conversation. It was the best summer ever to talk you to see u interact with me for the two years I went. And to also go up the road to see Michael Jordan at his camp. I was blessed to meet both of my childhood heroes. Two years prior, I was blessed to see u drop 40 the same day after me and my middle school team (Wayne Ruble Wildcats) lost to our rivals in the championship game which was heartbreaking for me. I remember my dad went out of his way that same day before the game to buy me the new all star Kobe zoom 1’s you wore in Houston at the all star game and my dad bought me those before our championship game and I wore those and played my little heart out. Didn’t score much but I felt motivated anyway. I remember hitting a clutch 3 after we down by 15 and I cut the lead down to 1 with 2 minutes left and I was like… “These Kobe’s kicks are real life!” But later on that evening after we lost the game on March 4th 2006, my dad surprised me and took me to see you play against his favorite team.. Detroit Pistons at staples and you ended up having a 40 piece and I was able to watch it live. I believe you was low-key sick that night coming off of flu like symptoms just days before. That was a month and a half after your 81 point game. I witnessed seeing you in the prime of your career. It was like someone telling me they went to go see wilt chamberlain drop 60 the week after he dropped 100. Something about history that’s good to pass on to your grandkids.
My favorite game shocking to say was when you played against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2005 back in November. And that’s when the lakers were on the road and I begged my dad to not take me to church that night. And that’s when I experienced how cruel NBA fans can be when they hate a player. I was there. I heard people call u names and bug you about those fake allegations that you were dealing with. And one play, at the end of the first quarter. I happen to be the only laker fan that was sitting in my section. And that year everyone was beginning to rally around kobe heavy after those allegations and fake stories came about him. And one play it was a broken play and you caught the ball from mid court and you hit a buzzer beater 3 from 40 feet out and starred at the crowd with this mean look on your face. And I yelled like a mf! I was like.. “What now!.. Yeah kobe! What now!! Yaw ain’t talking now huh?” Hahaha And I went home motivated that I saw Kobe shut a negative crowd up. That play put a sense of fearlessness in me at the age of 14 that I won’t ever forget. Even till now. It’s only but so much shxt people can say to me about what I love to do. I’ve dealt with it as a DJ and a producer. People say negative to me I know how to come back with a counter move and Blessed to say I tend to come out successful. I remember you saying in interviews, “Do what you love, and just be you.” Being vulnerable has helped Because of that, I can talk all day but thought I say, I’m really hurt you’re gone. It doesn’t add up.
I’m Praying for your family. I can only imagine but yet I don’t wanna imagine anything unless I’m gonna start crying again.. I’ve been fans of you and your wife Vanessa since 99’ when it went public you guys were dating. Of course word got out.. “Kobe dating a young white girl” happen to be only 3 years younger. And just because she’s light skin and Latina, I had to understand racism and Discrimination which started early for me based on what I heard. People mocked who she was. Which was sad. I and every kobe fan always supported her. And I told my mom. “I want a wife like Kobe’s”. Of course when you go out with family that don’t have a bigger imagination, you’re gonna hear negative all of the time. “She young, she only want money you don’t want no woman after your money.” Like shut up, you don’t even know her.. Are you that upset about your life right now ? But I said it.. “I want a wife like Kobe’s” yes I love Latinas, and I love my culture but I love everyone. And Latina women :) Idk I just wanted to be like you (kobe) dude. Like Kobe! In everything. When you got endorsed by adidas, I bought all of your shoes, when u were endorsed by sprite, I only wanted to drink sprite. When You were endorsing a burger by McDonalds, I wanted the burger everyday. I wanted to feel cool and like Kobe. When u wore a USA bracelet on your right wrist in 02, guess who went to The mall and bought a USA bracelet, I did. And wore it in the little league basketball tournaments at 8. When u married your wife, I was such a big supporter of you guys since April 2001. Game 1 of the western conference first round against Portland. They showed her on TV with her in the stands cheering you on. I was like.. “yup my dream is to marry a Latina.” “I hope they stay together” despite the struggle yaw stayed together and raised 4 beautiful daughters.
So I’m deeply praying for Vanessa she’s been through so much as well with the media and people bashing her. As a Kobe fan I know this first hand. Every Kobe fan can agree but I’ve heard it all. The “gold digging” comments everything. Yet this woman really loved her husband. She showed up to everything, I was able to say hi to her when she came to the camp. You rolling the stroller pushing Gianna and with your wife and Natalia. Beautiful family dude, She was super supportive. I was like “damn they’re goals af.” and Yes you’re not suppose to say that but knowing Kobe’s story on how they went through what they went through to basically be together for 20 years says a lot about what we should learn in this generation. People have money everyday B and they don’t care. She had the decision to do whatever and she wanted her husband. She’s a true definition of loyal and supportive. I feel for her. She had a moment to enjoy her husband after she sacrificed 20 years to not have him all of the time to now having him and then only for a short period of time, the time doesn’t last as long as his playing days. She should be celebrated as well.
As for Gigi (Gianna), lord man... I was really looking forward to watching her play in the WNBA man. She had a future. She was turning into a unstoppable ball player just like her dad that it was getting really scary and at such a young age. When Vanessa showed video of her from her I.G. doing this turn around stutter step fadeaway. I was like, “Yooo she’s gonna be a problem !!” “She looks like her dad!!” Nobody in the WNBA or NBA game is doing that, that effectively. She’s doing it with ease. But won’t be able to see that. Sucks her life has to be cut short. I’m praying for the oldest sister Natalia. And the remaining two children Vanessa has to raise without a father. You’re a hero too Lady Bryant. I’ve said this about women and I’m glad Kobe was such a activist on women and women’s sports. Because we live in a day where us as men we don’t look at women as queens like we should anymore or if not just queens we don’t believe in them being in the forefront. WNBA has been bashed many times but Kobe was always putting them in the forefront. But other than that. Kobe thanks for everything. I have tones of stories. But just know. I’ve got made fun of And clown on for loving you a lot dude! Mental health is important. Your work ethic and determination kept me going despite what others said. Another thing that is gonna hurt is that we all were looking forward to seeing you give your speech at the hall of fame this upcoming fall I believe….You won’t be there to see your hard work being rewarded in full. I must say It was good to see you walk off with 60 and to see everyone support you, from the farewell tour to your jersey retirement and your own day being official in LA after your birthday. Even though you won’t be speaking at the hall of fame, that was a moment at your jersey retirement you were able to share with your wife and your kids.
I’m not gonna bash anybody or any media outlet because I might bump into them one day but I must say, to people that cherished Kobe, Especially the laker organization, they did their absolute best to give Kobe his roses while he was still here. I told a friend of mines, I never seen a retired player get so much praise after retirement so fast. He got rewarded like no other and he was able to see it. He was able to see people acknowledge him for his hard work. Normally, you don’t get to see it but he saw it, he saw the people come out to his last game, he saw people give him a day, he saw his numbers go up at staples. Of course I bring up media because yeah its some media outlets, I’m kinda trying to hold my peace about because yeah… You guys did kobe Bryant really dirty and it sucks he had to pass for you guys to remember his greatness. Now actual players that played the game that do TV they always saluted him and respected him. But to some of you journalists, you guys gotta do better if you’re gonna do sports or entertainment in general & music too. I’ve always told my dad I respect other players but little things like allowing people that never played basketball to disrespect kobe and say he’s not even top 10 best player ever was highly disrespectful and most sports talk shows have allowed that to keep surfacing until actual players that played the game had to speak up on his behalf, such as Stephen Jackson, Matt barnes, Kenyon Martin, Allen Iverson even said.. “How are you gonna talk about Lebron and Jordan and not put Kobe in there?” It was that disrespectful but now its like… “He’s a legend” Dude people that knew kobe. We been known this before you tried to drown his name and his image. I’m happy Kobe didn’t let it affect him… Or honestly when he did, He turned into a better play as well which helped all of us mentally. But I always say don’t let media control your thoughts.
This started in 2004. When Shaq got traded to Miami and everyone went against Kobe and this was when he was still going through is court case. Which people don’t know he was so dedicated to the sport. I don’t know if laker fans remember him flying back and forth from court to the basketball court. Like dude.. You’re not tired or drained just to hit 30 or hit a game winner. He was dedicated and yet people still bashed him. And in 2009. When he won that first championship without Shaq, That was the happiest moment of my life. I remember me and my cousin Dwayne was running outside in the middle of L.A. Live just so happy for dude man. Because despite all of that negative, he ended up proving his critics wrong. Something I take with me in this game of life in what I do. That moment of beating Orlando is something I keep on my hall of fame wall in my home studio. When I want to be the best at what I do as a record producer.
Weird facts about my imagination. I’m a big advocate on loving the grammy awards even if people have talked bad about it, its like playing in the NBA finals and the fact that you died on grammy Sunday makes it more motivating for me to do what you wanted to do when you wanted to chase Jordan. I’ve always wrote down I wanted to win more Grammys than any producer living and live to see it. Celebrate it with my future wife and kids. Or celebrate it with my family. Dude, you passed on Grammy Sunday.. That was so heartbreaking. When I saw your face on the screen when Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men did that tribute with you looking over your shoulder, I realized then… Yeah its real… You’re really gone. Music can make me decide whats going on in that moment. The atmosphere of music can make me feel a certain way. That was the moment I broke down and cried. It was one thing to keep hearing it on sports outlets but once the Grammys honored you from the jump.. I knew then. “Kobe Worked so hard to get those championships despite coming in 13th in the NBA draft.” He went from 13th pick to arguably the greatest player to ever touch a basketball. It teaches me about being under the radar is not a bad thing. Sometimes not being charted on billboard doesn’t mean you’re not on path to be the greatest ever.
One thing I would say, The fact I’ve been screaming Grammys one day, Grammys one day. Dammit one day I wanna win a bunch of Grammys. Its gonna be a dream to win one one day knowing it was the day you passed. I already know what to say too.. #MambaMentality!!!! You’re the reason why I’m overly sensitive about my shit. My O.G. taught me the importance of not letting people belittle your hard work and you were the same way. I take my art seriously and will continue to. The way I’m gonna handle the grief is to always stand up for what I love and believe in, even if people don’t understand.
As I stated before, I’ve been made fun of because I honored you so much. One thing I will tell people especially people that love to clout chase in this world and love to mock someone’s mental state or someones imagination or inspiration please listen, It’s never wrong to grieve over someone you don’t know. God has sent his sons to live in his image and make a difference in the world. You don’t have to sleep on their couch or go to their house to be connected to that person or to be inspired by that individual. Don’t let religious or family people with no imagination trick you into thinking you can’t feel for someone that inspired you help live your best life. Blessed to say for me, I was blessed to actually meet you in person. That’s a story I won’t forget. I was able to attend your Kobe academy basketball camp when you first started in at LMU. I went in both the summer of 07 and the summer of 08. I was able to meet you both times. And one thing I tell people outside of Michael Jordan being my all time favorite player that I was blessed to meet as well and have conversations with. Kobe Bryant in my opinion was really overly friendly that it scared me. Usually people that live in L.A. are really stand off-ish and they don’t want to talk to anybody. Crazy thing is you were like the president of L.A. and you were open to talk to every kid at your camp and when I mean talk I don’t mean “Hi…” I meant.. “Hi, whats your name?” “How are you enjoying the camp”
I’ve got kicked off basketball teams because I wanted to have the mindset u had. I decided to go to Kobe camp and not high school camp because the greatest of all time had my attention to be great. My mindset was at a different place and it still is. I learned how to not be in a box. So RIP dude. Love you man. You will be missed. And forever #MambaMentality!