JAY-Z is honoring the late great Kobe Bryant.
In the wake of the NBA legend’s tragic death last month, the Roc Nation mogul is opening up about the devastating loss. During a discussion at Columbia University on Tuesday, JAY-Z paid tribute to Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, while revealing one of their final conversations.
“Kobe was a guy who looked up to me and we’ve hung out multiple times,” said JAY while reflecting on their friendship.
He and Beyoncé celebrated New Year’s at their house with Kobe and his wife Vanessa, where Kobe gushed to him about his talented daughter. “He was just in the greatest space that I’ve seen him in,” he revealed. “One of the last things he said to me was, ‘You gotta see Gianna play basketball.’ That was one of the most hurtful things ’cause he was so proud.”
JAY, who is a father to his own three kids, could see how proud he was. “I looked at him and said, ‘Oh, she’s going to be the best female basketball player in the world.’ He was just so proud of what he said.”
The loss has been especially hard for him and Bey. “That’s really a tough one and my wife and I took that—are taking that—really tough,” said Hov, adding, “Just a great human being and was in a great space in his life.”
Beyoncé also paid homage to the Black Mamba on Instagram, sharing photos of him and Gianna along with a heartfelt message. “I will continue to diligently pray for your Queens. You are deeply missed beloved Kobe,” she captioned one photo of him kissing Gigi.
During his conversation at Columbia, JAY also addressed the controversy over him and Beyoncé not standing during the national anthem at the Super Bowl, insisting it wasn’t a political statement.