BLK (Before Lil Kim) women in hip hop were uplifting the Black female with their lyrics. Most of the female emcees BLK were women of distinction and were a part of the Black power hip hop movements of the 80’s. You had women like Mc Lyte, Queen Latifah, Ms Melody, Salt and Pepa, Yo Yo, Monie Luv, etc. If you’re old enough to remember these women, if not google them, you will quickly realize that most of them were not sexy, half naked femcee’s but were for the most part, save one or two of them, overweight and wearing full garb. Salt and Pepa were the only ones out of this group of women who wore tight outfits but that was during the spandex era, which by the way is upon us again. These women wrote lyrics about being respectful women.
ALK (After Lil Kim) you will see that the vast majority of female emcees that were allowed to grace the stage as nationally respected women emcees had to fit the Lil Kim mold.
Hip hop had been usurped by the half naked gold digging hussy, as mom’s used to call them. Lil Kim ushered in an entirely new brand of hip hop for women. She was a firebrand, she knew exactly what she wanted and it was money, sex, and partying. Her lyrics were brazen and unapologetic for who she was. No endearing moments of motherhood, no uplifting lyrics of the Black Queen, she was by her own words, the Queen Bee-itch. But what she did have was the attitude of the independent woman who doesn’t know what being independent really is. She is the direct product of the use what you got to get what you want mind state that some black women teach their daughters. She was trying to escape her own reality by either getting a man with money or doing whatever it took to make money, as she willfully rapped about in her lyrics. For the most part she would write her own lyrics and Biggie would make sure that the words flowed properly to the beats and add his input to make sure she sounded good on her albums.
She rapped about having sex with guys for money, she got caught up in internet scandals of being rushed to the hospital and having cups, yes I said it cups of sperm siphoned from her belly, which was more than likely false, but still talked about, and various other scandals that for her improved her record sales, but would have sent a female emcee before her time to the poor house. But Lil Kim was resilient; her record sales soared and spawned many more wannabes and copy cats, i.e. Foxy Brown, etc.
In 1995 this was the image of Black women being distributed via the hip hop medium on video channels around the globe. Lil Kim, The Queen Bee-itch whose poster with her squatting down wearing a leopard skin lingerie outfit with her legs wide open became the poster of choice for Black boys and girls alike, was now the top femcee in hip hop. She was outselling a lot of the men so naturally she became an icon. Black girls whose parents allowed them to listen to Lil Kim were heavily influenced by her lyrics the same way Black boys were influenced by the lyrics of NWA and the other rappers who became household names during the early to mid 90’s, which by the way saw a heavy spike in drug and gang related crimes across the nation. This was the new image for the Black female who didn’t care about love and marriage as long as they were getting what they wanted, or so they said.
So let’s put this in perspective, the image of the Black woman that was going to get hers no matter what she had to do to get it is now the number 1 image being disseminated throughout the world and being beamed into the homes of millions of disenfranchised angry young Black women. Women who are angry because their mothers were angry. Black mothers who were angry because the Black man left them for another Black woman or for a woman of another race who were spewing hateful venom toward the Black man whenever they got a chance. These angry mothers were the ones who allowed their daughters to listen to The Queen Bee-itch and eventually imitate her.
To help to reinforce the Lil Kim attitude in young Black women they had to elevate other female emcee’s of her kind into the spotlight. Lauryn Hill was not a threat to this new mental state because she was part of a group and she didn’t really come to the light of young Black women until The Fugees released The score in 96, by then Lil Kim had been followed by Foxy Brown, another scantily clad female emcee who boasted about her “use what you got to get what you want” persona.
Foxy Brown was more of the same, she was introduced as the Ill Na Na, which was a reference to her vaginal prowess. She was quickly positioned on every hip hop magazine out during that time wearing small slithers of clothing promoting the new image of the Black female to the masses. The age of the overweight female emcee rapping about something of substance was officially dead, except for Missy Elliot, but she rapped about the same things as Lil Kim and Foxy Brown did.
After Lil Kim came the likes of Eve, sexy, but her lyrics weren’t as raunchy as her predecessors. She was an ex-stripper turned femcee and she enjoyed some years of fame that eventually spawned her a TV series.
From 1995 to 2000 you saw a myriad of female emcee’s being paraded in front of the cameras as the “first lady” of every record company on the planet. There were a lot of misses during this period that faded into obscurity without ever making a solo album but one who came into the spotlight by a southern emcee named Trick Daddy was able to make a name for herself just as Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Eve, and Missy Elliot did, and her name was Trina, “The Baddest Bitch”.
There are 2 more chapters about this in the book The Pawn Queen that I will post at a later date, or you can just buy the book by clicking on the book cover to the right!