Kendrick Lamar Narrates Nike Ad Dedicated to Kobe Bryant – Today in Hip-Hop
XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:
Aug. 23, 2020: Kobe Bryant's death in January of 2020 left the world stunned as no one expected to lose the basketball icon four years after he retired from the NBA. The lauded hoops legend has been honored in numerous ways for his legacy on and off the basketball court. One of these tributes was an by Nike, for whom Kobe was a brand ambassador, that premiered on this day in 2020.
Kobe Bryant died on Jan. 26, 2020, following a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna, six other passengers and the pilot were also killed. Since then, the late Los Angeles Lakers guard has been revered in both the sports and hip-hop communities.
Seven months after Kobe's tragic demise, on Aug. 23, 2020, Nike paid tribute to the Lakers legend on what would have been his 42nd birthday with a powerful 90-second ad narrated by Kendrick Lamar. The ad, titled "Mamba Forever: Better," features the Compton rhymer paying homage to Kobe and motivating his fans to "be better" in all aspects of their lives.
The inspiring video includes a montage of Kobe in action on the court intercut with various other athletes playing in their respective sports, all set to classical music.
"Kobe taught us to be better," K-Dot preaches. "A better dreamer. Better waker. Better stretcher. Better walker. Better talker. Better walking the walk and talking the talk. Better blocker. Better sprinter. Better loser. Better winner. Just be better."
"Better form," he continues. "Focus. Better friend. Better fighter. Better rider. Better eater. Better leader. Better generation. Better nation. Just be better. Can you do that?"