I’m not here (at the moment) to discuss the sociopolitical flaws of Lil’ Kim’s work. (All music is dynamic enough to critique it for its artistry and through a sociopolitical lens, though. I’ve done both.) I’m not here to discuss if Nicki Minaj is “better,” or to pretend that Minaj spontaneously combusted into existence without any prior influences, including Lil’ Kim, whether she admits this or not. Also, like many, I feel sadness about the plastic surgery issues with Kim, and the underlying issues that makes her do this to herself.
But, I am here to say that I still play the album Hard Core, it’s in my iPod right now, and it was highly influential as a part of the soundtrack (which also included D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar, Erykah’s Baduizm, Master P’s Ghetto D, and Tupac’s All Eyez on Me and R U Still Down) of my freshman year of college back in the late 90s—with all of its profanity, sexuality, sociopolitical flaws, great rhyme schemes, story-telling, interesting language styles and influences of Notorious B.I.G.
And, the line from “Not Tonight” on Hard Core where she raps…
Tryin’ to impress me with your five 5G stones, I’ll give you 10Gs nigga if you leave me alone.
…will always be epic. I must have laughed at this line at least a thousand times since 1996. It’s like…what goes through my head during milder street harassment incidents (not the verbally violent ones) and other unwanted advances.
This just came to my mind as I had my iPod on shuffle and the song played.