The song that means the most to Lil Kim
(Credit: Michael Antonio)

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The song that means the most to Lil Kim

Lil Kim is arguably the female emcee that paved the way for the likes of Nicki Minaj, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion and could even be considered the first commercially successful female rapper ever.  

A true trendsetter, Lil’ Kim, with her sexually provocative lyrics and coloured hairstyles, set the blueprint for female rappers, with almost every female artist adopting the Lil’ Kim approach today. Whether it’s their look, lyrical content or fashion sense, you can see the influence permeating modern female rap. 

As well as being in a very public relationship with fellow Brooklyn rapper The Notorious BIG, Lil’ Kim was also part of Junior MAFIA, BIG’s crew. This was a launch pad for Kim, as she was suddenly thrust into the limelight with the success of the group’s song ‘Player’s Anthem’, which landed at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became certified gold by the RIAA.

Following the murder of The Notorious BIG in 1997, with a significant following, Kim pursued a solo career, and although she didn’t reach the heights of figures such as Missy Elliot and others, she is still a legend within the culture and is highly respected.

In 2019, the Brooklyn artist released her first album in 15 years, 9, and following its arrival, the lyricist began gaining relevance again. That said, in a 2022 interview with Soho House for their magazine segment ‘My Life In Music’ Lil’ Kim reflected on her taste in music and career. 

Speaking about when she found love for music, Jones explained to the publication, “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.”

Jones unveiled that, akin to many musicians, she grew up around music, disclosing, “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.”

The ‘Crush On You’ emcee unveiled that she takes inspiration from Salt-N-Pepa, Janet Jackson, Slick Rick, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and many others while she’s making music and is always looking for new creative MCs to collaborate with.

When asked which is the favourite of her own tracks, after a brief ponder, the Bad Boy queen stated, 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.”

You can listen to ‘Hold On’ featuring Mary J Blige in the video below.