Like you, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio hasn’t slept well this week. At 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the Puerto Rican trapero linked followers to a two-minute track titled “6 Rings,” under the moniker San Benito. If the name of the song struck a chord for you, the accompanying image quickly certified it, and if you know not a damn thing about the game of basketball, its cover image clarified the random drop for you as well – this is Bad Bunny’s tribute to No. 24, his “favorite player” and inspiration, Kobe Bryant.
For all familiar with Bryant’s record as an athlete, the title will make you second guess a detail you know is correct – the 41-year-old amassed not six but five NBA championship rings. Did he not?
Yes, but Benito acknowledges one that outweighs them all.
“Congratulations, you too won six rings,” he sings in Spanish. “Five in the NBA and one in the marriage that gave you your daughters.”
“6 Rings” is a short and sweet tribute packaged in the form of scintillating, raw dialogue, with no one on the other side. His minute of reflection is sandwiched between audio from two clips – the first being from the January 22, 2006 Lakers vs. Raptors game in which Bryant scored a historic 81 points and the second from Bryant’s NBA retirement video, viewed in an entirely new light after his death.
“Mamba out,” we hear him say ahead of cheers, his mic-drop moment from ‘16 taking on a whole new meaning.
In Benito’s personal love letter, the 26-year-old artist reflects on everything from the overall brevity of life to Kobe’s complicated legacy and the particularly painful fact that Gianna Maria-Onore died as well.
“When I think of [that], I lose it,” he spits. “But nah, that’s so you don’t have to play [ball] alone in heaven.”
From questioning where God is at times like this to fondly think of the two in heaven, Bad Bunny grieves by doing what he does best.
“Black Mamba forever, x100pre vamos a recodarte,” he sings.