Top Stories

Africa Rumors

Myck Kabongo, who uses Lu-Kusa WOE as his musical pseudonym, says that while Cole may have been criticized for veering out of his lane and attempting to play pro ball, athletes face similar backlash when they show a strong interest in making music. “There’s a stigma behind: ‘Oh, he’s an athlete. We don’t want to hear it.’ [Many] athletes that do put music out — it’s trash, to be honest — and I take my time and I write my music,” Kabongo told ESPN. “I’ve studied hip-hop since I was a kid. I take it much more seriously than your average rapper who is just going in there to be cool. I actually have something to say. My music is going to touch people and affect people in a positive way.
Storyline: Basketball Africa League
“In Canada, I’m already almost at a million streams, which is insane independently. I just know with the machine behind me, I have music that… I’ve travelled so much, so my music will resonate and relate to so many more people than just myself,” he said. “Obviously, the US is where you want to explode and blow up for hip-hop. I think, the way the world is now, I just need a label to put the backing behind it. I think once people listen to it, they’ll gravitate to it and it will do the way it’s supposed to do.”
Why did you specifically decide to build a hospital in your dad’s honor in the Congo? Biyombo: In the Congo, there is one doctor for every 10,000 people. Initially, when I went home, we were refurbishing clinics and hospitals with new equipment. When my dad got sick, I got home and saw the conditions it was in. It was alarming to me. I started thinking in the back of my mind that he doesn’t have the best chance to make it. We started bringing in doctors and different equipment. Some of the local doctors didn’t know how to use the new equipment. This became a problem. When I went to the hospital every day, there were so many people and beds going empty every day with new people coming in. I asked myself, in my mind, “I have the means to do this for my dad, but how about these other people?” There were people that were just there hopeless. At that moment, there wasn’t much I could do for these people.
Bismack Biyombo: Once my dad passed away, I came back and was dealing with my emotions and got discouraged from doing things like playing basketball. I realized if my dad was alive, he’d never let me walk away from something I love, which is playing basketball. Then, I went back and forth, trying to find something to motivate me to play for something bigger than just being in the league. That’s when I told my agent in November and said I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually ready to play, but I wanted to take my salary and direct it to the construction of a hospital. The only way I’d play is if it was a winning team because I want to be able to win something this year.