24

Album: Donda (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • The basketball star Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in California aged 41 on January 26, 2020. "24" was the famous number Bryant wore during the latter half of his successful career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kanye West wrote this song inspired by and in tribute to the late NBA legend's passing.
  • West doesn't mention Kobe Bryant by name in the song, but he does reference his jersey number.

    Twenty-four hours
    Twenty-four candles
    Twenty-four hours


    The Lakers paid tribute to Bryant outside the Staples Center with a display of candles in the shape of 24.
  • West previously mentioned Kobe Bryant on his Ye track "All Mine." That song finds him reflecting on how famous sportsmen like Bryant seem to get away with being unfaithful to their partners.
  • The major premise of this song is the unpredictability of death. Inspired by Bryant's sudden and unexpected passing, West challenges the listener to get themselves right with God while they have the chance.

    Gotta make it right 'fore you left
    Gotta make it right before you


    The Lord has a purpose for everyone else while we're still walking on this Earth.

    Yeah, know you're alive and God's not finished

    The rapper also presents his belief that though life throws many obstacles in our way, everything will be alright in the end.

    We gonna be okay, we gonna be okay
  • The song is a collaboration with the Sunday Service Choir. The Los Angeles gospel-rap group is part of West's Sunday Service project, which he started in 2019. They contributed vocals to seven of the Donda tracks.
  • Tony Williams, Kanye's cousin and vocalist at the Sunday Service, first previewed a snippet of the track on September 11, 2020.
  • West co-produced the song with:

    Brian "All Day" Miller. A frequent Kanye producer, their collaborations date back to the 2007 Graduation track "Champion."

    Ojivolta, a writer/producer duo from Pennsylvania and Miami comprising Mark Williams and Raul Cubina. They contributed to 19 of the Donda tracks.

    Warryn Campbell and Cory Henry also helped with the production.
  • "24" interpolates an unreleased Kanye West, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg collaborative song called "Glory" that was previewed in an advertisement for Dre's Beats headphones.
  • The Nick Knight-directed video begins with footage from Donda's second listening party in Atlanta – the one where West ascended to the sky above the Mercedes-Benz Stadium's ceiling. From the one-minute mark there is footage of the rapper's late mom, Donda, laughing and smiling as West continues to rise above the clouds and into the vast cosmos.
  • Basketball is the number-one sport for many hip-hop artists, so it's no surprise Kobe Bryant's death sent shockwaves through the rap community. Here are a few more songs recorded in tribute to the Lakers legend.

    "Mamba Mentality" by Jevon Alexander
    "24" by Money Man (featuring Lil Baby)
    "6 Rings" by Bad Bunny

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