Until recently, it was probably forgotten that at one point, early in Kobe Bryant’s career, he tried his hand at rapping.

 

It’s understandable, considering he was really busy for two decades being, you know, Kobe Bryant, on the basketball court and all.

 

via GIPHY

 

Earlier in the week, he reminded everyone that he once had a budding interest in becoming a hip-hop star when his childhood friend, Russell Howard, opened up in an interview about producing some of the tracks on Kobe’s debut album.

 

via GIPHY

 

You have to think back to 1999 when this all went down.

 

Bryant, who was in the league for three years at that point, was the NBA’s hottest new thing. He signed a record deal with Sony Entertainment and recorded his first album.

 

via GIPHY

 

It didn’t do so well.

Flip to the next page for the backstory on Black Mamba hooking up his friend with HOVA…