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Jay-Z has discussed a conversation that he had with the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant. On Tuesday (Feb. 4), the hip-hop mogul attended a discussion at Columbia Univerity and paid tribute to Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna who also died with him in the tragic helicopter crash last month, as Rap-Up reports.

“Kobe was a guy who looked up to me and we’ve hung out multiple times,” Jay-Z said. The 50-year-old rapper and his wife, Beyoncé celebrated New Year’s at their home with Bryant and his wife Vanessa. During the occasion, Bryant gushed about his talented daughter.

Jay-Z and Kobe Bryant

LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 04: Jay-Z (L) and Kobe Bryant (R) greet each other at the Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets game at Staples Center on May 4, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

“He was just in the greatest space that I’ve seen him in,” Jay-Z 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.”

 “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,” Jay-Z continued.

Kobe and Gianna Bryant

TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference kisses daughter Gianna Bryant during the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

“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.”

During Jay-Z’s conversation, he also addressed the controversy regarding him and Beyoncé not standing during the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Jay insisted it wasn’t a political statement.

 

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.