The legendary MC aired his grievances on ESPN Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, ESPN welcomed Ice Cube to speak on the impact of Bryant’s death on the Los Angeles community. Former New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale and retired NBA player Richard Jefferson joined him on the panel.
Ice Cube says that after he heard the news, he hit up Kobe to see if he would text him back 💔 pic.twitter.com/sQBMyckpcy
— ESPN (@espn) January 27, 2020
The Jump‘s Rachel Nichols asked Cube who he first contacted upon receiving the tragic news of the crash. Cube’s answer was devastatingly candid. Watch the full clip above.
“Kobe,” Cube somberly admitted. “To see if he would hit me back. When I didn’t get it back, you don’t immediately start to worry, because he’s Kobe and he always gets back sooner or later.”
The second act of Cube’s storied rap career overlapped with the beginning of Kobe’s professional basketball career. In 2017, he wrote an essay about Kobe’s career for The Players’ Tribune. Around the time Kobe was making his debut, Cube and Westside Connection had just released its first album.
“I just tossed and turned thinking about Vanessa,” Cube continued, “his daughters…everybody in his life and what they lost. I know what we lost as fans. Me personally, I don’t have too many heroes that’s younger than me and [he] was one of them. It’s profound.”
Cube called for the city of Los Angeles to support Bryant’s widow and three surviving daughters.
“I hope the city wraps their arms around the family,” he said, “and embrace them as much as they embraced Kobe because the family is going to need it.”