"He was the basketball version of me, and I was the rap version of him," Kanye said of the late NBA legend.
Kayne West opened up about his new outlook on life and how he found his footing on the righteous path.
During an in-depth interview with GQ magazine, the "Famous" rapper revealed how an architect helped him survive his breakdown, being reborn a Christian kept him from working for the "devil," and why he considered Kobe Bryant "one of his best friends."
"He was the basketball version of me, and I was the rap version of him," Kanye said of the NBA legend who passed away in January. "That's facts! We got the commercials that prove it. No one else can say this. We came up at the same time, together."
Kanye said he is inspired to work harder as the route to his office passes the site of where Kobe, Kobe's 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others died in a tragic helicopter crash.
"So now there's no way for me not to be as determined as Kobe every time I drive down that street," he explained. "It's game time. There's no move that we can't make, or that we'll wait to make."
"Everyone in our life is now a member of the Lakers on one of Kobe's championship teams," he continued. "The way that Kobe would say that we all have to come together and win this championship is the way I look at life now. To an infinite, other level."
"This is a game changer for me," he added. "We bringing home the trophies."
About three years before the horrible accident that took his friend's life, Kanye was hospitalized for a "psychiatric emergency," which, he said, profoundly changed him.
At the time, he had been working on plans for a new home with famous designer Axel Vervoordt and longtime coordinator Vanessa Beecroft.
"We begged Axel to redo the space. This is before I went to the hospital," Kanye detailed. "I felt like I might go crazy, and we felt like having this wabi-sabi space might help deter that."
"Vanessa literally said to Axel, 'You must do this to save Kanye's life.'"
After the hospitalization, Kanye considered himself a born-again Christian, and began a new musical path melding gospel music with hip hop. And the re-branded outlook made him realize how he was perceived earlier in his career.
"To have blind faith is the ultimate confidence. Sometimes it could have felt like it was arrogant," he said. "And I think that the arrogance could have come from the fact that I wasn't working for God, but I was working for my ego, which is like working for the devil."
"I definitely think there's an alter ego," he added. "And definitely Christ altered my ego."
It appears all the recent life changes have had silver linings for Kanye, as he also gave his fans a little treat during the interview, in the form of a new lyric tease.
"I made it back from addiction, I beat the predictions, brought real to the fictions -- that's off the new album."