Lil Wayne is paying his respects to his dear friend, late NBA star Kobe Bryant.
Hip-hop icon Lil Wayne had the internet buzzing all morning Friday after dropping his 13th studio album, Funeral, featuring Big Sean, Lil Baby, the late XXXTentacion and and 2 Chainz. The album came just five days after NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a tragic helicopter crash. While it’s almost certain that Wayne’s project was complete before the heartbreaking accident, the New Orleans spitter found a way to honor Kobe’e legacy with a last-minute touch.
Fans are speculating that Lil Wayne purposely left 24-seconds-of-silence at the end of his eighth song on the album, “Bing James” ft. Jay Rock, as a tribute to Kobe’s two jersey numbers he wore over his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. The song ends at 2:59, and 24 seconds pass before the ninth track begins. Funeral also consists of 24 records, but it is unknown if that decision was made prior to Kobe’s passing.
After news broke of the accident Sunday, Wayne immediately took to Instagram to post an old photo of he and the five-time NBA Champion together. “Forever love. 824,” the caption read.
Like many fellow celebrities, Kobe Bryant acted as a huge inspiration to Lil Wayne throughout his career. So much so, that Tunechi dropped one of his most memorable freestyles, “Kobe Bryant,” after the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets in the 2009 Western Conference Finals. The track appeared on the Tear Drop Tune 2 mixtape and fans have been recalling it as one of the best hip-hop Kobe Bryant tributes while reflecting on his legacy all week long.
Funeral is Wayne’s first project since the highly-anticipated Carter V dropped in 2018, an album that signified the end of his long battle with his formal idol Birdman and his label Cash Money Records.
24 seconds of silence for Kobe at the end of this lil Wayne song off his new album Funeral pic.twitter.com/ISH7iRrXf9
— Jake Yasi (@jyasi16) January 31, 2020