NBA star Kobe Bryant is one of many athletes who can add short-lived rap career to his resume. Fortunately, his latest music-related venture finds him on the other side of the mic, putting his creativity to use behind the scenes. In an interview with ESPN The Magazine, Lil Wayne revealed Bryant as the mastermind behind the marketing campaign for the rapper's upcoming album Tha Carter V.
We've seen enough musicians and athletes rub shoulders on the sidelines of sports games to know that their is a fair amount of personal intermingling amongst the two entertainment factions. But it would make for a very interesting turn of events if more musicians were to take notes from Lil Wayne and convert their personal relationships with athletes into professional ones.
One of the benefits of such a partnership is it allows musicians like Lil Wayne to further expand his audience and let people who see him sitting court side at basketball games know that he's not just some guy who likes mixing prints and wearing jeggings. Take Drake, for example. He recently hosted the ESPYs and although watching him express his diehard love for his hometown Raptors was quite entertaining, it made the NBA love him enough to create a signature collection of Drake-inspired lint rollers.
Jay Z is the most visible example of a merger between a rapper and the sports world. His RocNation label is home to WNBA players Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins, amongst others. He also played a major role in the re-branding of the Brooklyn Nets and helped to make the Barclays Center a huge deal too.
Judging by the number of musicians who were amongst the many celebrities who wanted to buy the Clippers, there could be a rise in this trend on the horizon and it wouldn't be a bad thing. Only time will tell if Bryant and Lil Wayne's teamwork will catch on with other artists and athletes. His first active step in promoting Lil Wayne's album came in the form of a tweet that instantly caused mass speculation:
Even though Bryant's marketing plan was far from complex, it worked and proved that a lot of times, less truly is more.