Kobe Bryant widow Vanessa publicly criticizes rapper Meek Mill for lacking 'respect' and 'tact' over song lyric

The widow of the late basketball legend has lashed out at the rapper for 'insensitive' lyric referencing her husband

Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa Bryant speaks during the "Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant" service at Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles on February 24, 2020. - Kobe Bryant, 41, and 13-year-old Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in the rugged hills west of Los Angeles on January 26
(Image credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN / Contributor Getty)

Kobe Bryant widow Vanessa has publicly criticized rapper Meek Mill for lacking "respect" and "tact" over his song lyrics aimed at her husband.

The mum-of-four suffered unimaginable heartache when her basketball player husband Kobe, 41, and their daughter Gianna, 13, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in the rugged hills west of Los Angeles on January 26.

And just over a year after the tragedy, rapper Meek Mill has included a lyric that references her late husband - a step which Vanessa has branded "extremely insensitive and disrespectful."

Vanessa took to Instagram to show the star how she was feeling about the song.

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Vanessa Laine Bryant (L) and Kobe Bryant attend the 2019 Baby2Baby Gala Presented by Paul Mitchell at 3LABS on November 09, 2019 in Culver City, California.

(Image credit: Rodin Eckenroth / Stringer Getty)

Don't Worry (RIP Kobe) contains the lyric "If I ever lack, I'm goin' out with my chopper, it be another Kobe."

And in addressing Meek Mill on Instagram, Vanessa said the line was "extremely insensitive and disrespectful".

On her Instagram story, she wrote, "Dear @meekmill 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."

It's almost a year since Vanessa broke down in tears as she spoke during the Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant service held at the Staples Centre in Downtown Los Angeles on 24th February 2020.

And just last month she shared a heartbreaking letter one year on from her husband and daughter's death.

Vanessa, who is mum to daughters Natalia, 18, Bianka, four, and Capri, one, also shared a message of support from basketball star Candace Parker, who wrote, "I'm sorry you and your girls continually have to deal with [expletive] like this. It's not fair it's not right.'

Meanwhile, Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, appeared to respond on Twitter. He wrote, '[Expletive] your feelings" I don't think we on the same signal y'all... I don't see what y'all see."

He subsequently clarified that these tweets were not aimed at Bryant and her family and added, 'I apologized to her in private earlier today, not to the public. Nothing I say on my [Twitter] page [is] directed to an internet viral moment or the family of a grieving woman! If you care about someone grieving, change the subject!'

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Meek previously petitioned the National Basketball Association to change its logo to a silhouette of the Black Mamba to honor Kobe Bryant.

The LA Lakers star was a five-time NBA champion and is considered one of the greatest players in the game's history.

He was on his way to a tournament in Thousand Oaks last January when the helicopter he was in crashed into a hill just north of Los Angeles. 

Earlier this month, US safety investigators revealed the cause of the helicopter crash and said the pilot had probably become disorientated amid the fog.