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LL Cool J Reminisces About Kobe Bryant’s (Almost) Rap Career (Exclusive)

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LL Cool J is going down memory lane.

ET's Kevin Frazier sat down with the NCIS: Los Angeles star to reminisce about his longtime friend, the late Kobe Bryant's, side hustle of rap music. In 1999, Bryant signed a record deal for his first rap album. The lead single, titled "K.O.B.E.," was released in 2000 -- but the album never saw the light of day.

"We talked about rap," LL shared, telling ET that he and Bryant would have conversations about music. "He played me this album, this gangsta rap album and I was like, 'Kobe,' I said, 'Come on dog. That's not what you need to be doing [laughs].' He had a gangster rap album. He played me that album, we're sitting in a parking lot. I was confused, I was sittin' there like, 'What are we doing? You got endorsements, what are you doing?'"

"It had to be the funniest moment of my life, listening to him do gangster rap," he jokingly added.

LL also recalled when the athlete performed "K.O.B.E." at the 2000 All-Star Game with Tyra Banks.

"Yeah, we're not gonna pretend like we wasn't laughing," LL said. "Like yeah yeah yeah the world was laughing, that was not — but you know, he took his shot. He took his shot."

Last month, the basketball icon and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, that also took the lives of seven other victims. Following the news of his death, LL took to Instagram to express his condolences. 

"You left a legacy that will never be forgotten. I Remember us hanging out on set when you were a rookie. Rest In Peace & power great one," he wrote. "This one was NOT easy for any of us who loved you brother. But GOD has you now; and your inspiration and work ethic will inspire future generations for years to come. May the almighty embrace you, your daughter GiGi, and all the other souls that were on board. 🙏🏾"

Bryant and his daughter were honored during a memorial service at Los Angeles' Staples Center on Monday, where Bryant's wife, Vanessa, tearfully paid tribute to her late husband and daughter.

Bryant's close friends, like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal and more, took the stage to remember him, while artists like Beyoncé and Alicia Keys offered their musical talents to pay tribute to the NBA legend. 

Vanessa spoke early on in the service, delivering an emotional eulogy. Jimmy Kimmel, who introduced her, gave her a supportive hug as she tearfully took the stage amid cheers and a standing ovation from the audience. 

Watch Vanessa's heartbreaking speech, below.

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