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Friday, April 12, 2013
Kobe Bryant rap battles, sort of

By Henry Abbott

On Grantland, Thomas Golianopoulos has an outrageously insightful tale about Kobe Bryant's secret history as a rapper. It's a fun read all around, and makes clear that his much-publicized effort with Tyra Banks demonstrated only a fraction of his skills with the microphone.

Perhaps my favorite tale, however, came from a footnote, where then-Raptors guard Alvin Williams tells his side of an All-Star Weekend "rap battle" with Kobe:
"It wasn't a battle," Alvin Williams says.

"I was walking out of the Hilton and bumped into him as he and a couple of buddies were getting out of a limousine. I said, 'What are you going to do?' He's like, 'Go to my room and rap until my voice gets hoarse.' I go, 'You can't rap.' It was like straight out of a movie. He says, 'I can't rap?' Then he turned to one of his friends and said, 'Give me a beat.' His friend started beatboxing. Kobe then rapped for about 15 minutes straight. By the time we finished, I swear to God, there are like 150 people circled around. Then everyone expected me to rap. I walked away. I don't rap. They had their whole routine. It was straight out of Krush Groove. He wasn't that bad. And I'm a rap head."