The Queen Bee has returned. Two years after dropping her Hard Core 2K14 mixtape, Lil’ Kim has released her new Lil’ Kim Season project, consisting of previous tracks including “Mine” featuring Kevin Gates and “I Did It for Brooklyn” with Maino, as well as new remakes of other artists’ songs.
The 41-year-old MC has remained somewhat quiet on the musical front over the past few years, telling Billboard that she stepped away from recording new songs to tend to her daughter Royal Reign. “For a long time, my focus was my baby,” she says. “I wasn't thinking about music at all, and my focus was just raising my baby. Now that she's 19 months and she's going to be two this summer, she's motivating me to do music again. We play music all the time and she's always dancing.”
Still, the rapper born Kimberly Denise Jones has remained in the public eye, making an appearance with the Kardashian family at Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 event at Madison Square Garden in February and dropping a handful of one-off solo tracks and guest verses, including collaborations with Puff Daddy for his upcoming final album No Way Out 2. It’s been over a decade since she last released a studio album, 2005's The Naked Truth, but promises that she’s back on the grind—and that Lil’ Kim Season is just the beginning.
A few hours before the 'tape released, Kim spoke with Billboard about recording the EP, her love of Drake’s music despite their rocky past, her current label situation and her coy thoughts on Faith Evans' collaborative album with The Notorious B.I.G, dropping later this year.
Billboard: You've been teasing Lil' Kim Season for a few weeks and announced its release very last minute. What can you tell me about the 'tape?
Lil' Kim: It's funny, because a lot of times, the people around me will say, "Oh my gosh, it's like it's Lil' Kim season." It always seems like it's a time every year when everyone's either playing my music or paying homage with some of my most iconic looks. The other day, Kylie Jenner posted a picture of me and it was about my whole look of different colored hair, and she was like, "Oh my goodness, I love her," that kind of thing. Just a month before that, Solange threw a "Crush on You" ball where she had people come and they had to dress like me. Then, there comes a time when everyone's always playing my music and reciting lyrics. I go on the Internet, I see Taraji P. Henson performing the whole "Benjamins" [verse], and I see La La Anthony performing one of my other songs, "Get Money," I think it was. It sometimes just feels like Lil' Kim season, and this mixtape is going to be an advertisement [for that]. We're painting everything up right now.