The hip-hop legend speaks exclusively to Soho House about the tracks, albums and songs that have come to define her life
Legend status? Lil’ Kim has it. Not only is the 48-year-old hip-hop superstar – who was described by the late André Leon Talley as ‘the Black Madonna’ – a Grammy Award winner, but she’s also sold tens of millions of albums worldwide and has now signed as the face of Canadian outerwear brand Mackage.
We spoke to the so-called Queen of Rap (step back, Cardi B) to learn about all the albums, musicians, artists and songs that have helped build her into the musical icon she is today.
Can you please plot the exact moment when you first discovered your love for music?
‘Growing up I’d always attend block parties and I loved how music brought everyone together. I would grab the mic and play around with the DJ set, and lyrics would just flow from my heart. That’s when I fell in love with rapping.’
Were your parents into music?
‘I always listened to music with them as a child. My mom would have the radio on in the car all the time. I remember her telling me she wished I’d memorise my schoolwork the way I would memorise songs.’
Do you ever listen back to your own music? If so, which track means the most to you and why?
‘The track that means the most to me is “Hold On”; I felt that Biggie was with me as I was writing that song. It was written to inspire and uplift women.’
Who are your key musical inspirations?
‘Salt-N-Pepa, Janet Jackson, Slick Rick, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and so many more.’
Who are you listening to a lot right now? What’s top of your most-played list?
‘I can’t get over how good Beyoncé’s latest album is.’
Name the artist you’re most excited about and explain why.
‘I’m really excited to see what my girl Cardi B does next.’
If you had to pick a soundtrack to your life, what would it be?
‘“Essence” by Wizkid.
(UPDATED) Lil' Kim Stars in Mackage's New AD Campaign
The Canadian outwear brand just released its newest campaign for the season with Lil' Kim as the frontwoman. The rapper wears the brand's new monogram collection in the sleek black-and-white shots with her hair slicked back away from her face.
"Lil' Kim being a strong, independent woman who embraces bodycon fashion and is not afraid to stand out was the parallel we needed to introduce Mackage's first ever monogram collection," said Mackage CEO Tanya Golesic in a press release. "Her iconic looks have influenced so many throughout the 90's and continues to do so today."
Lil' Kim was excited to work with Mackage on this new launch, saying in a press release that she likes to do the unexpected — like working with this brand — but that she's really just a fan of Mackage's clothes.
"I already had a genuine relationship with Mackage," she said in a press release "I love their incredible leathers and puffers. When the team reached out to me to collaborate on launching their first monogram, it just felt true to me. They knew and understood the history of my style and most iconic looks and built campaign looks around that."
The brand, which was founded in the 1990s but rose to prominence in the early 2000s, threw it back to its origin story in bringing in Lil' Kim, who also launched her career in the 1990s. The rapper has never shied away from a bold look, and Mackage's new monogram line is certainly bold — making it a perfect match.
"It feels right you know; this brand is growing so quickly now but it had to come up year by year building its credibility because people genuinely loved the crazy quality, style, and dramatic fit. It's the real deal, and so am I," Lil' Kim shared in the press release.
The show will air Tuesday, October 4, at 9 p.m. EST on BET.
Lil’ Kim At The Atlanta R&B Music Experience
Lil' Kim to Perform at the 2022 BET HIP HOP Awards
The 30-year anniversary of Steve Rifkind's Loud Records will be celebrated at the 2022 BET Hip Hop Awards. David Banner, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep with Lil Kim, dead prez, Remy Ma, Fat Joe, Three Six Mafia, Lil Flip, and M.O.P. will commemorate the legendary label with performances.
Loud Records initially launched in 1991, and played a key role in the careers of acts like Big Pun, Wu-Tang Clan, dead prez, The Alkaholiks, M.O.P., and more.
The BET Hip-Hop Awards will be taped from Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta, GA, on Friday, September 30. The show will air Tuesday, October 4, at 9 p.m. EST on BET.
Lil' Kim in the Studio with Cardi B, ASAP Ferg, and Swizz Beats
Lil' Kim has responded to the backlash she received after people speculated she was dissing Nicki Minaj's son on Megan Thee Stallion's "Plan B (Remix)."
"I never said a word about anyone's child," Kim wrote in her Instagram Story. "Please feel free to listen to the song where we were clearly talking about an EX. To try and twist my words to have an excuse to take digs at my child is disgusting. I'm one of the most disrespected legends in the game but what you will not do is come for my child."
Megan Thee Stallion x Lil' Kim
Tune in to Funkmaster Flex' Hot97 Show on Thursday at 7pm to hear the premiere of Megan Thee Stallion and Lil' Kim's new single.
Lil' Kim's VMA Pasty Legacy Lives On
It was back in 1999 when Lil Kim made waves at that year’s MTV Video and Music Awards by stepping out
in a one-shoulder lavender jumpsuit and matching clamshell-shaped nipple pasty. Twenty-three years later,
the look remains fresh on the minds of fellow VMA attendees looking to turn heads.
It took just about 15 minutes into the arrivals to Sunday night’s ceremony at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
for two to give the icon her sartorial due.
First up, Anitta, Brazil's biggest POP star, hit the red carpet in a blood-red ensemble that came courtesy of Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry.
Then came Victoria De Angelis, bassist of the Italian rock group Måneskin. The 22-year-old has never shied from #freeingthenipple, and we have Gucci’s
Alessandro Michele to thank for this latest example. (Credit: todayschronic)
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Biggie's Mural Defaced In Brooklyn
A mural of The Notorious B.I.G. was defaced on Thursday night (Aug. 25) in the late rap icon’s hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. The black-and-white mural, which is located at the intersection of Saint James Place and Fulton Street, was splattered with red paint, reports News 12 Brooklyn. The culprit also spray-painted the words “East Coast” on the mural.
News of the crime left local residents in shock, with many voicing their disappointment that such an act could be committed in the very neighborhood the rapper helped put on the map during his successful, yet brief career.
“This is his stomping ground and everything,” local resident Johnny Famous told the local news outlet. “Biggie means a lot to the whole world. So for someone to do this, it’s ridiculous. You gotta be sick in the head, and I know it’s a million cameras out here so somebody saw something.”
Lil' Kim and Megan Thee Stallion Link Arms
Could a collaboration between the Queen Bee and Megan Thee Stallion be on the horizon?