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Shaquille O'Neal recalls recording a rap song with Kobe Bryant: "My favorite Kobe moment"

Kobe Bryant & Shaquille O'Neal

Shaq talks about making a rap song with Kobe Bryant back in 1998

We all know Kobe Bryant and Shaq’s relationship went through ups and downs on and off the court but making music was once a big part of it. After Kobe's tragic incident, the rap song they did together, 3 XS Dope, became something special because it gifted fans and Kobe’s friends something to cherish and a reason to look back on simpler days. 

3 XS Dope

In 1998, Shaq released an album entitled Respect, and it featured a song called 3 XS Dope, where Kobe rapped the opening verse. The Lakers star was only two years on his NBA journey and already dared to explore things outside basketball. Kobe had always been fascinated with rapping. He once lived with a Sony hip-hop executive who signed Kobe’s group CHEIZAW. Turns out, The Black Mamba’s calling was still playing hoops.

The lyrics reflect Kobe’s immense self-belief and potential in the rap game:

I reach destinations with split second acceleration

It caps enough time to witness your bone evaporation

Slash paragraphs that emphasize my emphasis

Abbreviate lyricist the lyrical short hands

I kidnap planes for atmospherical advantage

My lyrical damage the rise for mental mechanics

With the Mic in hand I'm immortal to hu-mans

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Even rapper-producer Clark Kent could not help but be amused at Bryant’s rapping. But Sonja Blade, who collaborated with Shaq on 3 XS Dope, was amazed at the Lower Merion alumn’s natural flair for rapping, as published on The Secret History of Kobe Bryant’s Rap Career


When he laid that down, the whole studio erupted because it was like “This guys is not playing.” “This was not A-B-C stuff.” 

Kobe Bryant’s name was excluded due to rights issues in the initial credits. The song did not get as much fame as it should have, but the rawness captured Shaq and Kobe’s relationship at that time. 

Shaq and Kobe’s relationship and music

Shaquille O’Neal called the rap song recording his favorite Kobe moment per Instagram post. 

“My favorite Kobe moment was this night when we went to the studio with DJ CLARK KENT AND U blessed me with this 16 S/o @hotfreestyle”

This all happened before the beef. If 3 XS Dope stood for anything in the history of NBA players rapping or pretending to be rappers, it was one special moment between two Hall of Famers doing what they loved doing before the pressures and accolades. 

Shaq used to diss Kobe every chance he got after the Laker's fallout. In 2008, he fired back, saying The Black Mamba couldn’t win without him. O’Neal also claimed Kobe was why he got divorced in a freestyle rap. 

When asked what his beef was, Shaq clarified that it was just all for fun in a report published by ESPN

"I was freestyling. That's all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever. That is what MC's do. They freestyle when called upon. I'm totally cool with Kobe. No issue at all. And by the way, don't forget, six albums, two platinum, two gold.”

Over the years, the two enjoyed a turbulent relationship, but all that changed in the later stages of their lives when they came together and made peace. We should probably thank Clark for pushing this underrated gold, especially if you are a 90's hip-hop fan but also a basketball fan.

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