The hip-hop community is mourning Kobe Bryant.
A day after the NBA legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., Ice Cube reacted to the devastating news. In an interview with ESPN, the L.A. native remembered the Lakers champ.
“Kobe is some of the glue that holds L.A. together,” said a somber Cube.
He also revealed that he texted Kobe upon hearing about his death from a friend. “To see if he would hit me back,” he said. “And when I didn’t get it back, you don’t immediately start to worry ’cause he’s Kobe and he always get back sooner or later.”
While his city and the world is in mourning, he especially grieves for Kobe’s family. “I just toss and turn all night thinking about Vanessa and his daughters, thinking about his mother, and his father, his sisters, thinking about Vanessa’s parents, just everybody in his immediate life that loved him, what they lost. I know what we lost as fans.”
Cube said he looked up to Kobe, despite the fact that he was younger. “Me personally, I don’t have too many heroes that’s younger than me, and that was one of ’em,” he continued. “It’s profound but I think more about his family and I hope the city wraps their arms around the family and embrace them as much as they embraced Kobe ’cause the family’s gonna need it.”
A heartbroken Cube also expressed his sadness on Twitter, writing, “I can’t believe that my hero and friend is gone too soon. I’m numb.”
Other celebrities have reacted to the news including Drake, Lil Wayne, Barack Obama, and Justin Timberlake, who penned a heartfelt tribute to his friend. “You have connected so many of us. The Mamba Mentality will last for all of time,” wrote the pop superstar.
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We met when we were both teenagers and bonded over our drive and process. I was in awe of what you could do with a basketball and knew your talent went beyond your physical gifts and stretched to your mentality. A mentality that I would take with me throughout my whole career and still use every day. As the years went by, I watched you do things that seemed humanly unimaginable. And, through ups and downs, championships and injuries, you still remained with an unwavering resolve about your mentality to remain fierce to competition. But, every time we would speak or text, something started to change… your patience and ease grew. And it inspired me to continue to grow for myself. Years passed, and the “old man” jokes would start to be traded back and forth. We both appreciated a good “ribbing.” We joked about “The Vino Club.” You nicknamed yourself ‘Vino’ to represent how one could age gracefully as a fine wine does. But, you never stopped aiming to inspire me. Your confidence in me was huge – it really affected me because I admired you so much. I don’t mean as one of the greatest athletes ever. I mean as a person. People sometimes can confuse a will to win with a lack of compassion. That wasn’t you. You had both qualities. The last conversation that we shared was about being fathers and what that meant. That was, beyond all the things that we could do in this world, our true legacy. Who our children are and what beautiful people they will become. And, I guess right now, without being able to find all the words, THAT father connection is what is most devastating for me. I am sending my love to Vanessa and your family and to the families of everyone connected in the mourning of this terrible tragedy. My heart is broken and my family lifts you up in our thoughts and prayers. Kobe… You have connected so many of us. The Mamba Mentality will last for all of time. I know that will be a source for me every day as it has been for so many days before. Your legacy is with us. It’s our responsibility to pass it down now. I hope you I can continue to make you proud, Vino. Champ, MVP, Legend, Hero, Inspiration, Father, Friend. I’m gonna miss you, brother. Mamba forever.