Snoop Dogg paid tribute to late L.A. Lakers great Kobe Bryant the only way he knows how at Sunday night’s (June 21) virtual 2020 ESPY Awards.
During the distanced show that took place five months after a helicopter carrying Bryant, his daughter and seven others crashed in Calabasas, California, Snoop premiered a new tribute to the city’s favorite sports son.
“The stage is set, it’s go time/ Peep the scene, we in the mix, it’s ’96/ And rising from the Philly streets, a teen/ Tryin’ to find his direction,” the song began, with Snoop rapping over an uptempo piano as footage of murals honoring Kobe and career highlights flash by. “You beat the odds by a mile, all grit, no smile/ A new golden child, yeah, let’s do it Mamba Style.”
The two-and-a-half-minute song traced Kobe’s improbable rise from teen prodigy to 18-time all-star and five-time NBA champion, with cameos from such fellow superstars as Michael Jordan, former teammate Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James.
“This is your city, much love for the ride,” the song ended as a string section rose and Snoop promised that the city will never forget the Black Mamba.
Watch Snoop’s tribute below.