Kenny Smith is giving Meek Mill a pass for his controversial Kobe Bryant lyric that enraged fans earlier this week.
“I’m a Meek Mill fan,” Smith told TMZ. “I know that he’s a huge basketball fan, huge Kobe fan. Whatever he says, I’m always going to give Meek a pass.”
Meek faced backlash after a track featuring Lil Baby appeared to surface online where the Philly rapper references the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people.
“Yeah, and if I ever lack, I’m goin’ out with my chopper, it be another Kobe,” Meek reportedly rapped on the track, which has been listed on Genius under the title “Don’t Worry (RIP Kobe).”
Later on the song Lil Baby raps about wanting to “have a son, so I can name him Kobe/Daughter Gigi.”
Smith told TMZ he’ll let Meek’s lyrics slide because of the rapper’s past good deeds.
“I always give Meek the benefit of the doubt,” Smith adds. “He has a track record that speaks pretty long and pretty positive in the past year.”
Potentially in response to the controversy, Meek tweeted “internet antics cannot stop me” on Wednesday night.
The rapper was widely criticized online after the track surfaced.