Vanessa Bryant scolded rapper Meek Mill in regards to a song that references her late husband, basketball player Kobe Bryant. The song included the lyric “If I ever lack, I’m goin’ out with my chopper, it be another Kobe.” Bryant and his daughter Gianna passed away along with seven others in a helicopter crash early last year.
In a statement posted on her Instagram, Vanessa Bryant stated, “I am not familiar with any of your music, but I believe you can do better than this. Many people agreed with Vanessa Bryant’s statement that it was offensive and tasteless.
“..appears to be an attempt to create a musical metaphor by relating Kobe Bryant and his frequent use of private helicopters to commune in California to Meek Mill’s life” Christian Bonilla, 12th Grade Student at Thomas A. Edison, stated. “Meek Mill should have chosen to rephrase this lyric to be a bit more understanding of the situation or cut the line entirely because, as it stands, the lyric is highly ignorant and offensive to the Bryant family.”
Meek Mill apologized in private to Vanessa Bryant for his offensive lyrics. “I apologized to her in private earlier today not to the public…Nothing I say on my page directed to a internet viral moment or the family of a grieving woman! If you care about someone grieving change the subject!” Meek Mill stated on his Twitter.
“As previously stated, the lyric simply needed more clarification and commend Meek Mill for publicly apologizing to Vanessa Bryant and following up with her via private messaging to provide her further clarification,” Christian Bonilla said.
This situation created a major debate on several social media platforms about whether or not it is disrespectful to reference a person’s death in a song lyric. Some believed that music was getting too soft or getting out of hand.
“I personally disagree with this statement and do not believe that the Hip-Hop community is growing out to be “soft.” In today’s day and age, more and more underground rappers are becoming highly successful over their albums and hit singles that discuss their brutal backgrounds,” Christian Bonilla stated. “In the case of Meek Mill and his lyric, one may argue that people have become easily triggered over something meaningless, however, fail to connect themselves with the emotional impact that the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant has had on Vanessa Bryant, her children, and the millions of fans around the world,” Bonilla stated.
To show his support Meek Mill posted a photo on his instagram of a hat with Kobe and his daughter’s name signed. He also said that he would not allow internet critics to reach him or force changes in his music. It is unclear whether or not Meek Mill will officially release the song yet.