Kanye West: Kobe Bryant was ‘the basketball version of me, I was the rap version of him’

Rapper Kanye West and Kobe Bryant were good friends. Since the NBA legend died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, West has been vocal about his relationship with the Lakers star. West says the two are one in the same, just with different backdrops. The rapper opened up about how he viewed Bryant and how he has reflected on his death for GQ’s May cover story.

West said considers him and Bryant on similar levels, and shared how he is motivated by the Hall of Famer.

From GQ:

“He was the basketball version of me, and I was the rap version of him, and that’s facts! We got the commercials that prove it. No one else can say this. We came up at the same time, together. And now it’s like, yeah, I might have had a reputation for screaming about things—but I’m not taking any mess for an answer now. We’re about to build a paradigm shift for humanity. We ain’t playing with ’em. We bringing home the trophies.”

When Bryant died, West was at his ranch in Wyoming. When asked three days after the death how he was doing, West replied with an honest “Not good.” He then explained that “Kobe was one of my best friends.”

The loss hurt for the 21-time Grammy winner, but it also gave him a sense of motivation. West explained his outlook saying, “The way that Kobe would say that we all have to come together and win this championship is the way I look at life now. To an infinite, other level. This is a game changer for me.”

West often passes near where Bryant’s helicopter crash when he is going from his office to his house in California. When he drives by, the rapper sad he does not get upset.

“There’s no way for me not to be as determined as Kobe every time I drive down that street,” West said. “It’s game time. There’s no move that we can’t make, or that we’ll wait to make.”

In one of his famed Sunday Service Choir performance in Miami two months ago, West also revealed that Bryant was a fan of his music, citing the 2015 song “All Day” as one of Kobe’s favorites.

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