It's no wonder professional basketball players have raging and uncontrollable egos. With all the money, fame, and little bobble-head dolls created in their images, it's as if the entire world has transformed into a giant sucking mouth placed firmly on the asses of our favorite NBA stars. This usually leads to someone strangling their coach (and getting away with it), or maybe refusing to play unless they have an Xbox 360 installed in their locker, but even worse, they may decide that the realm of athletic performance can't contain their awesome talent. And then they release an album.

The temptation to switch mediums can be overwhelming. Nobody knows this better than I do -- after a reader said one of my articles "totally cracked [her] up," the whirlwind of Mattamania had me one karaoke night away from releasing my own Tribute To Meat Loaf album. In the end I decided to save everyone's ears from that tragedy, but certain other people don't possess my iron will. People like...
Kobe Bryant.

Back in 2000, someone at Columbia Records decided that Kobe Bryant + A Rap Album = Piles of Money. Maybe that person was suicidal, or maybe it was Let A Retard Write Your Business Plan Day. Who knows. But in some dark, evil boardroom, somebody pitched the concept for Visions, Kobe's debut LP. I've never worked for a record company, or ever been a part of any important decisions, but I'm guessing both involve lots of alcohol. And drugs. Maybe even head wounds.


You think I'm joking, but seriously: the same people who gave the green light for this album thought it would also be a good idea to let Kobe do a duet with Tyra Banks, whose resume reads "Model, Big Boobs, Reality TV star, Big Boobs." If you saw "Pop Singer" in there, then it's a typo. And they also thought that she should write the duet. Yeah. This was probably the first indication that Tyra had gone nuts. I never watched America's Next Top Model, but the gentlement over at iFilm have video footage of her going apeshit all over one of the contestants. If Visions had been released, maybe that wouldn't have had to happen. Believe me, no one would have let her have a show after listening to her sing.

Tyra 2
Here's the gratuitous Tyra Banks picture.

The Kobe/Tyra duet was supposed to be the title track of the album. It's called K.O.B.E., but don't get the wrong idea. It's not a song about a cool robot who came back from the future to have sexual misadventures or maybe take over the world. It's about...well, damn, I really have no idea what it's about. Here are some sample lyrics:

[Tyra] Kobe, how many girls have said, "I love you?"
Not like 'I love you Kobe!' like a fan
But like, for real, like, baby, marry me, I love you

A better question would be "How many girls have said, 'Kobe, stop?' Not like 'Kobe, stop scoring on my team!' like a fan, but, for real, like, 'Kobe, please stop, take your hands off from around my neck!" I'm just sayin'.

[Kobe] Uh, what I live for? Basketball, beats and broads

Ugh. What I live for? Never hearing this song. Ever.

[Kobe] From Italy to the US, yes, it's raw
I'ma search for the one that make my wealth feel poor
Who can ignore the spotlight life of Grandma

The spotlight life of...Grandma?! I can only assume he's talking about Larry Johnson.

[Kobe] But I must take risks to find a honey that's legit
Whether she push a buck and a six, bumpin' some mad chips
Out on her own, or live out of moms and pop's home
Watch time, fashion, Adidas attire or Timbo's
I don't know, yo, these women come and go

What the fu...?! I guess this is some kind of street jive about finding a girlfriend. But the idea of this crap coming out of Kobe's mouth is like, it's like...William Shatner singing Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Oh, wait...

[Tyra] K-O-B-E, I L-O-V-E you

Well, I guess she can spell. Oh, and she has huge boobs. Did I mention that?

[Kobe] Right, right, uh, uh, uh
Think ya eyein' me, all along, I'm eyein' you
The hunter becomes the hunted, girl, I'm preying on you

Considering the fact the Kobe was later accused of rape, they lyrics take on darker, creepier undertones.

[Kobe] Can't get witcha, Don't let the door hitcha, where the Lord splitcha

Now that, my friends, is true poetry. And no: I'm not making this up. I swear. Well, I won't torture you with any more of the lyrics, but if you really hate yourself you can go here to read the rest. And as a reward for making it this far:

Tyra 1
Okay. One more and I swear I'm done.
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