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.
Call a woman a bitch and you might get cut, call her a bad bitch or a boss bitch, you probably can get her number and the panty draws. Yep, all you have to do is add an adjective to the front of it that’s deemed to be a positive to the negative word bitch and bam; you have officially transcended the word bitch. You have been officially cleared to use it whenever you want to use it.
It started with Lil Kim in 1996 when she released her debut album, Hardcore. She had a song on it entitled Queen Bitch from which her nickname was derived, as she was called The Queen B from that time on.
Four years later, in 2000, Trina came out with an album titled Da Baddest Bitch and bitch officially became a part of the African American lexicon as a term of endearment if a woman called another woman a bitch, as in “bitch please” or “I’m partying with my bitches tonight”.
Don’t get me wrong, male rappers have been using the word in lyrics since the 80’s but most women frowned upon it and had something to say negatively about the person using the word. Male rappers were always being ostracized for using it in raps, but when Lil Kim came along and coined herself as the Queen Bitch it began to take on a different form.
Not only do women use it unabashedly, men do it also. It’s become part of people’s everyday vernacular unless it’s being used in a negative way, in a form of malice. Continue reading