Lil Kim is an undeniable hip hop icon, and yet, she has remained a humble lyrical assassin despite being revered as the Queen Bee. So much so that with 30 years in the game, classic records, and more, she believes her big moment is still on the horizon.
“There’s a few highlights in my career, but it’s funny ’cause I never had that ‘Oh my God’ moment,” she told XXL in a new feature for their Legends cover series. “Even to this day, I feel like that moment is still coming for me,” she noted in the story published on May 19.
Discovered by The Notorious B.I.G. in the early ’90s, she quickly rose to prominence in the industry as the First Lady of Junior M.A.F.I.A. Under the guidance of the “Get Money” rapper, she climbed the charts with her debut album, Hard Core, which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified double-platinum by the RIAA. Even with her early accolades and notoriety, Kim told the publication that she was slow to recognize herself as a trendsetter.
“I was just doing what I liked to do normally, and I was having fun,” explained the “Crush on You” artist. “I didn’t really see that this was gonna be a career for me because I was just this kid having fun. Everyone knows I started when I was 16, so it’s like, when they were making a big fuss — hair, nails, and makeup — all that done at the same time, I was like, ‘This is what’s going on?’ But it was just like… I was just walking, you know? And wherever God was taking me, that’s where I was going.”
But if she had to name at least a few moments that stand out as highlights, it would be those that include some of music’s biggest stars. “I think when Diana Ross touched my boob. That was everything, ’cause I loved Michael Jackson,” she recalls of her encounter with Ross at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. Kim continued, “I love Janet Jackson, so meeting Janet, knowing she was a fan of mine, just melted me. That was like, ‘My life is complete.'”
Elsewhere in the interview, she hinted at working on a major project to help younger artists thrive in the industry. Though she is keeping the details under lock and key for now, the venture may be what brings her “Oh my God” moment to fruition.