Many must understand the groundbreaking approach Lil’ Kim owned when she first stepped into her spotlight in this culture many of us call Hip-Hop. While there were already sexually expressing female spitters, none of them were openly erotic to an extent it hit their physical plane. Primarily male dominated, in the mid-’90s hardcore rapping took over the Hip-Hop’s worldwide audible stamp. Hardcore taking a direct liking to the male emcee was looked down upon to be in the ownership of a female emcee. Come 1994 under the banner of Junior M.A.F.I.A., Lil’ Kim changed the blueprint of the female emcee with her certified hardcore bars in ties with money, sex, and fashion. The outlook of the ideal female rapper evolved from the subtle sexy angles of Salt N’ Pepa to the bare unapologetic feminine explicit of the “Queen B*tch” raptress. Throughout the years, from music videos to performances and red carpets, Kim has rocked the most unforgettable ensembles and eventually became a mega-icon in Hip-Hop fashion. In honor of the Queen Bee’s birthday, let’s take a look into nine of her most memorable looks.
1. “Crush on You” Video (1996): Unapologetically one of the Brooklyn natives most memorable look, she busted into becoming Hip-Hop’s official female fashionista as she rocked red, blue, green, and yellow fits and wigs with neon furs to effortlessly match.
2. MTV Video Music Awards (1999): Easily the most memorable look rocked by Kim is none other than the lavender jumpsuit with one hanging boob covered by a shell-shaped pastie followed by a lavender wig to top it off. This ultimately became her most recalled look which garnered further exposure for the rap queen.
3. Hard Core Promo Shot (1996): Showcasing her mastered skill of flipping her sex appeal into gritty bars, the promo photo for her debut album Hard Core where the raptress is pictured in a leopard bikini topped by fur, squatting on all fours became the ultimate blueprint for fellow femcees to come, forever.
4. MTV Video Music Awards (1997): Delivering a performance of timeless nature of “Not Tonight”-her her femcee powered collab featuring Angie Martinez, Left Eye, Da Brat, and Missy Elliot Lil’ Kim’s depiction of a bejeweled Cleopatra was an automatic given her theme was devoted to queens.
5. No Way Out Tour (1997): Whoever denies Kim’s responsibility of trendsetting the popularity of rocking neon furs, is most likely a liar. The Queen Bee was not going to settle on the first tour of her career. Remember when Queen Bey rocked this look last Halloween? Iconic.
6. Lady of Soul Train Awards (1998): Emulating the appeal of an ancient African empress, Lil’ Kim was directly in sync with her win for the night, Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video for the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards for her iconic femcee bombarded collab”Not Tonight.”
7. MTV Movie Awards (2001): In the midst of enjoying the fruits of her hit collaboration with Mya, Christina Aguilera, and Pink, “Lady Marmalade” with an classic performance, Kim decided to fit the overall theme of her presence’s purpose by rocking a flower and chain bikini top with a pair of jeans keeping it pure Kim glam.
8. Fendi Rock Ray J’s “Wait a Minute” Music Video (2001): It is not about who rocked the Fendi print jacket first. Besides from the Dapper Dan makes and Lo Lifes style, the “Big Momma Thing” spitter revamped the grand trend of rocking top notch brand prints amid female fans, introducing the fancy fashion to a new generation. Plus, she had the thigh highs to flawlessly match.
9. 3rd Annual BET Awards (2003): One word. Sunshine. She looked like sunshine, right on that day. It was not the Bed-Stuy legend’s first time rocking a bikini in public, but after being seasoned in the game, the Notorious B.I.G. protegee had to show ’em she still got it.