Lil’ Kim on Wizkid, Biggie and the music that made her
The hip-hop legend speaks exclusively to Soho House about the tracks, albums and songs that have come to define her life
Thursday 13 October 2022 By Teo van den Broeke
Legend status? Lil’ Kim has it. Not only is the 48-year-old hip-hop superstar – who was described by the late André Leon Talley as ‘the Black Madonna’ – a Grammy Award winner, but she’s also sold tens of millions of albums worldwide and has now signed as the face of Canadian outerwear brand Mackage.
We spoke to the so-called Queen of Rap (step back, Cardi B) to learn about all the albums, musicians, artists and songs that have helped build her into the musical icon she is today.
Can you please plot the exact moment when you first discovered your love for music?
‘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.’
Were your parents into music?
‘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.’
Do you ever listen back to your own music? If so, which track means the most to you and why?
‘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.’
Who are your key musical inspirations?
‘Salt-N-Pepa, Janet Jackson, Slick Rick, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and so many more.’
Who are you listening to a lot right now? What’s top of your most-played list?
‘I can’t get over how good Beyoncé’s latest album is.’
Name the artist you’re most excited about and explain why.
‘I’m really excited to see what my girl Cardi B does next.’
If you had to pick a soundtrack to your life, what would it be?
‘“Essence” by Wizkid.’