Meek Mill has sparked controversy with leaked lyrics from his new song, “Don’t Worry (RIP Kobe),” a collaboration with three-time Grammy nominee Lil Baby. In one of his verses, Meek raps, “Yeah, and if I ever lack, I’m goin’ out with my choppa, it be another Kobe,” referencing Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash in Calabasas last year.
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, issued a response on Instagram Monday night, calling Meek’s lyrics about her late husband “extremely insensitive and disrespectful.” “I am not familiar with any of your music, but I believe you can do better than this,” wrote Vanessa, whose teenage daughter Gianna, better known as “Gigi,” was among nine killed in the accident last January. “If you are a fan, fine, there’s a better way to show your admiration for my husband. This lacks respect and tact.”
The Philadelphia rapper addressed Bryant’s criticism on Twitter, confirming he apologized privately to Vanessa for his lyrics. Bryant, a five-time NBA champion who retired as the Lakers’ all-time leader in career points, games, minutes played, three-pointers and steals, will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this spring. The annual All-Star Game MVP Award was named in Bryant’s honor last year.
A noted hoops fan, particularly of his hometown Sixers, the 33-year-old Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, posted a tribute to Bryant shortly after his passing, posing for a photo alongside rappers Jay-Z and Yo Gotti with all three donning the Black Mamba’s iconic No. 24 Lakers jersey.