Another day, another controversy featuring a rapper trying to pay homage through questionable lyrics. Just days after DaBaby went viral for an odd verse about Gen Z darling Jojo Siwa, Meek Mill is now in the hot seat because of a leaked song that tried (and failed) to pay tribute to late sports icon Kobe Bryant.
The tragic death of Kobe, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people in a January 26, 2020 helicopter crash was heartbreaking even for those who didn't know them personally. The loss left a gaping hole in pop culture in a way only the death of a beloved celebrity can. More than a year after Kobe’s passing, a new song from rapper Meek Mill is stirring up discourse in the hip hop community — and inciting a response from the NBA star’s widow Vanessa.
On Monday February 22, an unreleased song titled "Don't Worry (RIP Kobe)” featuring Lil Baby was leaked online, and its lyrics raised eyebrows on the internet. Though the track was meant to be a homage to Kobe, one specific verse came off as incredibly inappropriate.
“If I ever lack, I'm goin' out with my chopper, it be another Kobe,” rapped the Maybach Music Group artist in the very first verse of the song. “Shit, I could tell that they ain’t never know me.”
Creative license is important, but that doesn't guarantee good taste. Upon being made aware of the existence of “Don’t Worry," Vanessa was quick to take Meek Mill to task. After posting a screenshot of the an image of the song’s lyrics, she mentioned the rapper directly in a post on her Instagram story.
“I find this line to be extremely insensitive and disrespectful. Period,” wrote Vanessa. “I am not familiar with any of your music, but I believe you can do better than this.”
“If you are a fan, fine,” she continued. “There’s a better way to show your admiration for my husband. This lacks respect and tact.”
Since the death of her husband and daughter, Vanessa has been insistent on the public respecting her family's privacy as they grieve the loss of Kobe and Gigi. She's been paying tribute to them in her own way, as have others, but this particular salute isn't the way to respect the basketball legend's legacy.
For his part, Meek Mill claims that he contacted Vanessa privately to apologize, and the leaked song has since been completely scrubbed from the internet.