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'This lacks respect and tact': Vanessa Bryant calls out rapper Meek Mill over Kobe lyric

Meek Mill tweeted Tuesday that he had apologized to Vanessa Bryant in private.
Image: Public memorial for NBA great Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others killed in a helicopter crash on January 26, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
Vanessa Bryant during a public memorial for her late husband, the NBA great Kobe Bryant, and their daughter Gianna at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 24, 2020.Lucy Nicholson / Reuters file

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of basketball star Kobe Bryant, called out the rapper Meek Mill for referring to her husband's death in a helicopter crash in his latest song.

Mill, the Philadelphia rapper whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, has faced backlash over the past week after his song "Don't Worry (RIP Kobe)" with the rapper Lil Baby leaked online.

In the track, Mill raps, "If I ever lack, I'm goin' out with my chopper, it be another Kobe."

Kobe Bryant died at age 41 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in January 2020, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people.

The lyric prompted Vanessa Bryant to post an Instagram Story criticizing Mill.

"I find this line to be extremely insensitive and disrespectful. Period," she wrote. "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."

Several people came to Bryant's defense, including WNBA player Candace Parker, a close friend of the Bryants.

"Dear @vanessabryant I'm sorry YOU and your GIRLS have to continually deal with S--- like this," Parker wrote in an Instagram post that was shared by Bryant.

"It's not fair it's not right! We love you and I continually am in awe in your ability to take the high (road). So I will follow suit and say to everyone."

Mill tweeted Tuesday that he had reached out to Bryant and apologized in private, rather than issue a public apology.

"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 said.

Bryant opened up about her grief and the importance of persevering in an Instagram Story last month.

"Grief is a messed up cluster of emotions. One day you're in the moment laughing and the next day you don't feel like being alive," she wrote in a post shortly before the anniversary of the crash.

"I want to say this for people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss. Find your reason to live. I know it's hard. I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them. Death is guaranteed but living the rest of the day isn't. Find your reason."