The Original Trendsetter – Lil’ Kim

Some may say Kimberly Jones was a little too provocative when she came onto the hip-hop scene in the 90s. Of course she wasn’t the only female rapper at the time but she was always in front of the camera; she epitomized the label “sex symbol”. She was doing, saying, and wearing things many women were not at that time. Colorful wigs, plethora of furs, designer logos for days, this woman literally created her own lane in fashion, as well as hip-hop. Her lyrics were raw and she always kept people on their toes. I have written about different women whose style I love and admire but it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t take the time to sit back, reflect, and write about the woman who started it all, the ORIGINAL trendsetter, Lil’ Kim.

No matter what people say, who cares about what they think, is definitely something I love about her and something she stood by. Lil’ Kim did her thing. She forever stayed true to who she was and what she was about. Misa Hylton, one of the best stylists in the industry and super influential in hip-hop fashion, had much to do with Lil’ Kim’s extravagant looks during the mid-90s and early 2000s. Do you guys remember the song “Wait A Minute” by: Ray J, produced by the Neptunes, that she was featured on? Pictured above you see her in Fendi head to toe, with huge gold inital earrings, which is a LOOK; a seriously flawless look from that video. Like many people, one of my favorite and most memorable fashion moments was Lil’ Kim’s purple pasty outfit to the 1999 VMA’s. Whatever other people wore that night did not matter once she arrived. Jaws dropped and eyes were wide when she walked down the red carpet. That same night while she and Mary J. Blige were on stage, Diana Ross was even amazed by the look and nonchalantly touched Lil’ Kim’s boob. How iconic.

I have mentioned it before but I’m a visual person. The way things look and are put together really makes a difference to me. I remember always staying on top of the newest videos in hip-hop and r&b. Granted, I was four or five years old when the “Crush On You” video was released but that video is one to remember. It’s still one of my favorite videos to date. She killed every single scene in this video and had every color down packed perfectly. Every year for Halloween I say I’m going to dress up as the yellow Lil’ Kim but it somehow never happens. Even this past Halloween, Muva, Queen Bey, had five different costumes that paid homage to Lil’ Kim, the original Queen B. I love Nicki Minaj but remember when she first came out, super colorful wigs and such? Let’s not sit here and say Lil’ Kim wasn’t a major influence in that department. No female rapper in the 90s was as bold and outlandish as she was.

On May 21, 2016, the Notorious BIG’s birthday, the whole Bad Boy squad had a huge concert to celebrate, performing right at the Barclay’s Center which is not far from my apartment; I had to go. That was my first time seeing Lil’ Kim in concert and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. From songs with the LOX, Mary J. Blige, Mr. Cheeks, Mobb Deep, Sisqo, and many more, it was an amazing space to be in that night and see her go off! People have plenty of negative comments to say about how she looks now compared to the 90s. Yes, she was a natural beauty back then and has now changed her appearance from what it once was. It is sad because you never know the insecurities people, especially women, face and the things that will/can be done to try to change for men. Still, til this day I have all the respect and admiration for Lil’ Kim, from what she’s done in fashion to hip-hop. Til the day I am no longer able to breathe, when her verse on “Get Money” comes on I will rap it with all the energy I have, not skipping a word and without any hesitation. Take a look at some of your favorite female artists right now and tell me she didn’t have some type of influence on them. There’s really nobody that comes close to her.