Happy birthday, Lil Kim!
The OG “Queen Bee” in the rap world turns 47 today (July 11), proving that time has been nothing but kind to the Hard Core hitmaker. Her career reads as illustrious as they come in hip-hop: trained under the eye of The Notorious B.I.G., originator of the sexually empowered era of women in rap and first-of-her-kind when it came to fashion. In short — no, not a reference to her famous 4’11 frame! — the Brooklyn native has done a lot for the female hip-hop game and where it’s at today.
To see artists like Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion all have dominating careers in hip-hop is an amazing sight to see, and each of those aforementioned queens and a handful of others have brought a type of energy to their artistry that immediately feels borrowed from the house that “Notorious K.I.M.” built.
As we celebrate the original Queen Bee of hip-hop’s birthday today, take a look at 7 careers Lil Kim gave “birth” to — OK, or in other words that won’t cause a stan war, owe a debt to her in some way, shape or certainly fashion:
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On top of being PrettyLittleThing’s favorite two collaborators, Saweetie and Lil Kim have a lot of similarities in their artistry. Looking at the “ICY GRL” video already sees Kim’s classic wig and fur steez in play, and Saweetie herself admitted to Essence in the past that Kim is one of the women that paved a way for her career.
2. Yung Baby Tate
It didn’t take her doing a whole song and video called “KIM” for us to see the clear influence, but the direct homage is definitely a nice form of respect.
If you can’t see the parallels between the video for “The Biggest” and “Came Back For You,” all you need to do is refer to Latto calling Kim “the blueprint” in-person during their recent run-in at the 2021 BET Awards to understand the connection.
4. Megan Thee Stallion
If you’re looking for a sex-positive summer rap banger, Megan is always your girl for the job. That’s the kind of time Kim was on in the ’90s, and that type of liberated lyricism has only spread in the female rap world today.
5. Doja Cat
With Doja Cat, who admittedly is on her own planet when it comes to music, the Kim inspiration comes more from a fashion perspective. The fashion in her fan-favorite video for “Rules” has sprinkles of “No Time” vibes spread throughout if you look close enough.
6. Cardi B
The respect Cardi B seems to always show to Kim is enough in itself, but even her viral video for “Up” carries some of the same energy of Lil Kim’s classic David LaChapelle photoshoots!
7. Nicki Minaj
Even though Nicki Minaj has proven herself to be successful in many ways beyond a lot (if not all) of her predecessors, there’s no denying that there’d be no Barbz without influence from the original “Black Barbie dressed in Bulgari.”