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Sportsong of the Week #46

"Fade to black"

Kendrick Lamar

Words written by Scoop Jackson


The career of one of the biggest global sport stars ever came to an end Wednesday. After 20 years with the LA Lakers, winning 5 titles and a lot of personal awards Kobe Bryant retired. With an epic 60 point last game! Never will there be another to do it like him. So in his honour Sportsong of the Week #46 is 'Fade to black' performed by Compton's own Kendrick Lamar with words written by legendary writer and journalist Scoop Jackson.

This spoken word-style piece, "Kobe Bryant: Fade to Black," is an ode to Kobe as the King of L.A.—the Philadelphia kid, raised in Italy, who conquered the fame capitol of the world. But it's also a testament to the Mamba's legacy as a Los Angeles icon, courtesy of another: Kendrick Lamar. It's also fitting that Kendrick should record the track, set to "Untitled 07 / Levitate" off his latest album, untitled unmastered., at the old Forum at Inglewood.

"From Compton to Krenshaw, we were all witnesses...we share with him the world. Soon enough, he became our identity. If you wasn't born or raised here, or never lived here, you'll probably never understand." Kobe is a global icon now, but his influence is also undeniably local. He became part of L.A.—and part of being from L.A. was being able to say that "we've got Kobe." "How do empires last when there's no longer an emperor?" asks Kendrick.


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