Vanessa Bryant has spoken out about a snippet of a Meek Mill song that had him in hot water over the weekend, bashing the rapper for flippantly using the death of her husband and daughter for a punchline.
The clip has now been scrubbed from the internet, but for days fans of Kobe Bryant have been bashing Meek Mill for referencing the helicopter crash that killed the 41-year-old NBA legend, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others last year.
On Monday night, Vanessa responded on Instagram.
"Dear Meek Mill, I find this line to be extremely insensitive and disrespectful. Period. I am not familiar with any of your music, but I believe you can do better than this. If you are a fan, fine, there's a better way to show your admiration for my husband. This lacks respect and tact," Vanessa wrote.
Vanessa Bryant speaks out about Meek Mill’s lyric about Kobe. pic.twitter.com/XPXvcdrzbF
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 23, 2021
While some have sought to defend Meek Mill by saying there is a long, long history in hip-hop of intentionally saying offensive things in order to garner responses, others noted the children lost in the helicopter crash and Vanessa's repeated requests for respect when it comes to Kobe's passing.
Some Meek Mill fans referenced other lines from rappers like Lil Wayne and Eminem that used terror attacks as punchlines. But both of those rappers caused a firestorm with their lines about Emmett Till and the Manchester bombing, respectively.
Lil Wayne apologized for saying, "beat the p***y up like Emmett Till," in 2013, according to Rolling Stone, while Eminem refused to back down after referencing the terror attacks that took place at an Ariana Grande concert in England last year.
Meek Mill responded to Vanessa's note on Tuesday, writing on Twitter that he had already spoken personally with her and apologized for the lyric.
"I apologized to her in private earlier today not to the public…Nothing I say on my page directed to a internet viral moment or the family of a grieving woman! If you care about someone grieving change the subject!" he wrote on Twitter before sending out, and eventually deleting, two more tweets where he said he would no longer listen to people critical of his lyrics.
I apologized to her in private earlier today not to the public…Nothing I say on my page directed to a internet viral moment or the family of a grieving woman! If you care about someone grieving change the subject!
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) February 23, 2021
“I’m going back savage in this shit…f#%k ya feelings!” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet, and there are dozens of others criticizing those who are calling him out for the line.
The lyric comes following the one-year anniversary of Kobe's death. The Hollywood Reporter noted that last month, the National Transportation Safety Board released their findings on the crash that took Kobe's life, ruling that the accident was caused by the pilot's error in flying through dense clouds, as Blavity previously reported.
Since Kobe's death, Vanessa has had to deal with overzealous fans and even an ongoing controversy with the local police department after a number of officers were caught sharing photos of the helicopter crash scene with each other.
As Blavity previously reported, the state of California was forced to pass a law banning first responders from taking personal photos of crime scenes.