The Musical Homage
to Kobe Bryant:

The Good, the bad, and...
the German?

Kobe Bryant
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The legacy

Kobe Bryant’s legacy lives on in many forms: In the millions of fans and aspiring basketball players, in his Academy-Award winning short Dear Basketball, and also in at least 147 songs bearing his name as title.

We compiled a playlist of all the songs called “Kobe Bryant” that we could find. We were surprised by just how many songs carried his name, and also by just how many Germans seem to love the Black Mamba.

The Year Of The Release

Songs dedicated to Kobe have been coming out for more than a decade. About half came out the year of his death, marking by far the biggest uptick. However, more than a third of the 147 songs, 53 to be exact, came out before his unexpected passing.

Feb. 2002 – Kobe Bryant is named All-Star Game MVP for the first time. He also won the honor in 2007, 2009 and 2011.

Jan. 22, 2006 – Bryant scores 81 points in the Lakers’ 122-104 victory over Toronto. Only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962 tops this performance. … Bryant leads the league in scoring (35.4 ppg) as Phil Jackson returns to coach the team. The Lakers lose a first-round playoff series to the Phoenix Suns.

June 14, 2009 – Bryant wins his fourth NBA title and is named the Finals MVP as the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic in five games.

June 17, 2010 – Bryant wins his fifth NBA title and is named the Finals MVP as the Lakers beat the Celtics in seven games. He signs a three-year, $84-million contract extension to remain with the team through the 2013-14 season.

Aug, 12, 2012 – Bryant wins his second Olympic gold medale as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team at the 2012 Games in London.

2012 - 13 – Bryant makes his 15th All-Star team during a season in which he passes Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He averages 27.3 points in 38.6 minutes per game for the season before rupturing his left Achilles’ tendon in an April 12, 2013 game against the Golden State Warriors. Successful surgery to repair the injury will leave him unable to play for six to nine months.

April 13, 2016 – He scores 60 points in his final game, helping the Lakers defeat the Utah Jazz 101-96.

Dec. 18, 2017 – The Lakers retire both of Bryant’s jersey numbers, No. 8 and No. 24, during a halftime ceremony.

March 4, 2018 – Bryant wins an Academy Award for best animated short film for “Dear Basketball.”

March 2019 – Bryant adds new lines to his resume – publisher and author – with the first volume of a children’s fantasy book series, The Wizenards, published through his multimedia content company Granity Studios. The books target young athletes with tales containing athletic characters and themes exploring the particular challenges athletes face.

Jan. 26, 2020 – Kobe, 41, is among nine people who die in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. One of his daughters, 13-year-old Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, was among those to perish in the crash as well.

Kobe Bryant is officially inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on May 16, 2021

Localization of Artists

The United States is the home base for the homage to Kobe Bryant. Germany comes in a distant second, with Italy rounding out the top three. Other honorable mentions include France, Canada, and Brazil.

Location of Artists Map

Rap & Hip Hop Pay
to the Black Mamba

Rap and hip hop have developed a special relationship with Bryant. Of the 147 songs in the Spotify playlist, 117 are rap and hip hop, including the most streamed songs. Some of the biggest, and smallest, names in hip hop have paid tribute to this beloved shooting guard.

After all, before he was a big shot basketball star, he was rapping on the streets of his hometown Philadelphia. Going by the MC name “The Eighth Man” Bryant was known for beatboxing and rap battles. He ended up having a little more success as a basketball player.

> Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne is the most successful rapper on the Spotify playlist of songs titled “Kobe Bryant.” Their friendship goes back many years, with Li’l Wayne releasing “Kobe Bryant” in 2009, well before much of the hype and at a low moment in Bryant’s public relations.

The love continues strong. At the 2020 BET Awards, Lil Wayne performed the song with additional lyrics honoring the recently-deceased.

Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne performs onstage during the EA Sports Bowl at Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest on January 30, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Witch House
& Indie Rock
Won’t Be Left Out

Rap and hip hop are not the only game in town when it comes to paying respect to KB24. What would a Kobe Bryant playlist be without at least one witch house track?

> Kimoto Beatz

Witch house mixes industrial electronic dance music with ethereal voices. Some tracks are even rumored to have hidden occult messages. Kimoto Beats, a witch house Dj from Berlin, used his artistry to pay homage to Kobe Bryant with his 2020 single. Listening to the song will make you feel like you’re in a haunted house. As an instrumental track called “Kobe Bryant,” we can only speculate on the mystic messages Kimoto Beatz is transmitting.

> The Silver Thinkers

Indie rock group The Silver Thinkers has a sultry tribute to Bryant. Their 2020 track includes poetic musings on what it means to, to lose someone important, and life after such loss. With poetic lyrics encouraging us to “dream of colors” because it is “time to collect the light” leave the listener appreciating their love for the super star athlete.

Kimoto Beatz
Kimoto Beatz. (Photo from

The World
the "8th Wonder of the World”

Love for Kobe Bryant has spread around the world. Neither California nor the United States have a monopoly on honoring him. While we expected some songs from outside the US, we were definitely not prepared for just how much love from abroad came pouring through our speakers.

Germany Blitzing to the Top

There must be something in the water in Germany. That seems like the only way to explain why German is so overrepresented in this playlist. With a total 11 songs rapped in German, it is the second most common language for music about Kobe Bryant, even beating out Spanish, in which there are only 7 songs. Sehr gut!

> UFO 361

Basketball is very popular in Germany, coming in third behind soccer and ice hockey. Turns out that German hip hop is also hugely popular….in Germany. It sounds a bit rough to ears from the United States, but many of these songs have huge amounts of streams, even though they are virtually unknown to the US public. In fact, the song “Kobe Bryant” by German rap group Ufo361 has more monthly streams (5,021,837) even than Li’l Wayne’s homonymous track (4,969,137).


In fact, the third most streamed song on the Kobe Bryant playlist is also in German by the Berlin-based hip hop group Samra (3,767,889). Who could have imagined that this Wunderkind was so loved along the Danube?

Iceland, Czech Republic, and Brazil! Oh my!

The outpouring of love for the Eighth Wonder of the World has been truly global. Some of the most surprising include artists from Iceland, the Czech Republic, and Brazil.

> Landaboi$

Iceland is known for its great music. Led by Björk, the little island has its share of world-famous names. Landaboi$ is not one of those names. Their rap song “Kobe Bryant” came out in 2019, the year before the untimely death of Bryant and is worth a listen. At 23,117 monthly streams, you would be in good company.

> Egoun

Egoun, signed onto the international INNY Records, is the Czech Republic’s sole representative on this list. He is fairly well-known in Prague, even if his global monthly streams (6990) do not compare to some of the bigger names.

> Low Order & Lil Jor

Brazilian artists represent four songs on this playlist. The most streamed track is by Low Order & Lil Jor (6882). The easy flow of their track will have you bobbing along happily. It is really exciting to see evidence of so much appreciation for Kobe coming from around the world.

Ufo361. (Photo by Stefan Brending)
Landaboi$. (Photo from

The Diamonds
from the 147-Song Rough

In this long list of songs with the title Kobe Bryant, there are more than a few gems. Apart from the big names like Lil Wayne, there are some more obscure diamonds hidden in the rough. Check out these four artists who also love Kobe Bryant.

> Netherfriends

Netherfriends is a true musician. Having attended the Columbia College in Chicago for Music Composition, he has many resources at his disposal. These include pulling on his influence from his first band, the ska group Argyle.

His current music is more of a mix of punk and hip hop. His music goes between profound and goofy with ease, while bringing the listener along for the ride. Check out his love for Bryant.

> Kid Lit Music

Kid Lit Music was born in Brooklyn, and you can definitely tell. His eccentric take on hip hop really sets him apart from the other 120 rap songs about Kobe Bryant on this playlist.

If you dive into his music videos, for example “Nayla Beauty” or “Sugar Daddy,” you will see even more of his colorful and contagious personality. His song “Kobe Bryant” fits perfectly into this mold as he combines hip hop beats with more fluid, danceable rhythms.

> Yng Vegeta

Self-described “underground trap lord” Yng Vegeta brings the style. Not only do his many sunglasses cover the entire light spectrum, but also his music bounces.

He gained traction with his music videos, especially Moncler. While his music typically focuses on the underbelly of Italian society, his “Kobe Bryant” track is pure love!

> Miami House Party

The one house track on the Kobe Bryant Playlist, Miami House Party is pure fun! Party of what makes this house music so engaging is its heavy disco influence. Plus, they claim to be part-time ninjas. Very impressive.

This Irish group expresses their love to Kobe Bryant through very confident and fun lyrics that encourage you to get up and dance along.

Yng Vegeta
Yng Vegeta. (Photo from Spotify)
Kid Lit
Kid Lit Music. (Photo from
Netherfriends. (Photo from SoundCloud)

Well, at Least
These Rappers Tried

Going through the list, it was wonderful to discover some new artists. However, it was quite painful to listen to others. Not everyone is a winner, baby! These songs could use a bit of polishing.

> SOB Hijo

This song is just painful. Almost literally. The sound quality is so low as to leave scratch marks on my eardrums.

You can get an idea for this Brooklyn native’s extreme creativity by looking at the titles for some of his other hits: “Happy Mothers Day” and “Crazy Story, Part 5” are some of the best examples. This is a song you can listen to only if you dare.

> Matty C

Matty C’s Spotify profile is full of album’s called “Greatest Hits,” which is ironic given how uncomfortable I felt listening to it. Or maybe “Hits” refers to the anger I feel while trying to get through one of his albums.

The beatboxing behind his vocals remind me of my arrhythmic friends in middle school using their pencils against their desks. With 22 followers, Matty C does have at least some fans out there for sure.

> Yung Temperpedic

Yes, this rapper named himself after a memory foam mattress. Not just any foam mattress, of course. When listening to his raps, the first thing that stands out is his voice. He sounds like a mouse getting off of a treadmill. Maybe his stage name refers to the rest that our squeaky friend so badly needs.

While not all 147 songs will be winning a Grammy, this group of artists all share one thing: their love and appreciation for arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.

Listen to the full playlist on Spotify