Kanye West Eulogizes Kobe Bryant in Late Night Sunday Service Memorial: 'I Just Broke Down'
According to video from the service shared online, West took a stage in the center of the circular room, freestyling to the crowd wrapped around him.
“I was driving home / They was leaving your jersey on the freeway,” West said. “And I just broke down, broke down, broke down.”
Joining West for the tribute was fellow rapper Chance the Rapper and gospel singer Kirk Franklin for the tribute.
Chance performed a stripped down version of West’s “Ultralight Beam,” off his Life of Pablo album. “When they come for you, I will shield your name / I will field their questions, I will feel your pain / No one can judge,” he sang.
Meanwhile, Franklin led the choir in a few traditional gospel songs. That choir later sang a modified version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”
“When hurt brings you to you knees / Just call on Him, he’ll give you ease,” they sang. “He’ll surround you with his love / It goes on, and on, and on, and on.”
Prior to his service, West has remembered Bryant on Twitter.
“Kobe, We love you brother,” West wrote, captioning a smiling photo of he and Kobe as they posed with friends Swizz Beatz and Mos Def in a recording studio. “We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave.”
Bryant and his daughter Gianna were two of nine victims in total who perished in the deadly crash, which took place on Sunday around 10 a.m. local time in Calabasas — the neighborhood that is home to several celebrities, including West’s sister-in-laws Kourtney Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian.
The athlete and his 13-year-old girl were on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks with parents and players from the team when the helicopter crashed amid foggy conditions and burst into flames.
Other victims included Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester, girls basketball coach Christina Mauser — of Harbor Day School in Orange County — and John Altobelli (the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College) alongside his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli.
Authorities are still looking into what caused the crash. The Bryants are survived by Vanessa, Kobe’s 37-year-old wife, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
Meanwhile West and the Kardashians family are friends with the Bryant family — even after Bryant openly criticized West after his controversial comments about slavery back in May 2018.
Since his death, many of the Kardashians have been mourning the tragic deaths.
“No one should ever experience what the families involved are going through,” she continued. “This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and her baby girl. I cry just thinking about it. I am praying for the Bryant family, the Altobelli family and the families of all who perished in this unthinkable tragedy. Rest In Peace Legend.”
Kourtney, 40, posted two pictures of Kobe and Gianna on her Instagram Story, saying, “My heart is with Vanessa and her babies.”
Khloé, 35, chose to tweet about the tragedy, saying that, “My heart hurts.”
“Sadly, I never personally knew you, but knowing I’m capable of all these emotions for someone I only knew from a far makes me feel more human than ever,” Kendall wrote. “You had the magical ability of bringing people together, through sports and through your soul. We feel you so heavily today, I know you can feel us too. Rest peacefully Kobe, Gigi and the rest of the passengers we lost today. My heart truly goes out to all the families. Give a big hug to the people you love today and always.”
Wrote Kylie, “at loss for words right now. praying for this beautiful family.”
“Words cannot express our sadness. All my deepest love and prayers are with Vanessa and Kobe’s family at this time,” she said, adding in a follow-up post, “I don’t have the words. Every ounce of my heart is with you, Vanessa.”