Ahead of the NBA legend's Aug. 23 birthday, Drake celebrated his legacy during his It's All a Blur Tour shows in Los Angeles
Ahead of what would've been Bryant's 45th birthday on Wednesday, the "Hotline Bling" rapper celebrated the late NBA legend's legacy during his It's All a Blur Tour stops at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles earlier this week and recalled meeting him for the first time.
While speaking to the crowd in between songs on Monday, Drake, 36, received one of Bryant's jerseys on stage from a fan in the audience. "I'm gonna hold this up, 'cause we gotta show love to Kobe one time," he said, according to fan-filmed videos on social media.
"Y'all make some noise for Kobe one time," continued the musician, as the audience cheered.
During the second Crypto.com concert, Drake took a moment to share the story of his first time meeting Bryant. He recalled flying out to Los Angeles to sign a record deal, noting that it was the first place he lived upon moving out of his Toronto hometown.
"When I had to move away from home, move away from my mother, move away from my friends, the first place to ever take me in was Los Angeles, California," he told the audience. "The day I got flown out to get signed... I was on Lil Wayne's tour bus. I'll never forget."
— Crypto.com Arena (@cryptocomarena) August 23, 2023
"He said, 'Man, I got this album coming out. It's called Tha Carter III. I want to play it for you, but we gotta wait for somebody to get here first," added Drake, noting that they waited for about 90 minutes for the mystery guest to show up.
"Finally, this tall figure walks through right through the doorway of the bus, and it's Kobe Bryant," he recalled. "And that day I got to sit there, and I got to listen to Tha Carter III with Kobe and Lil Wayne."
The listening session likely went down around early 2008, as Tha Carter III was released in June of that year, and it sparked a friendship between Drake and Bryant.
During one of the "Way 2 Sexy" rapper's early Los Angeles concerts in 2010, the NBA star was in the audience and shared a moment with Drake on stage, according to videos from the show.
Drake also attended the NBA All-Star game in 2016, where Bryant played against LeBron James, and the rapper sat courtside — appearing in many photos from the event.
The It's All a Blur Tour, which also features 21 Savage, continues through Oct. 9.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.