If Lil Kim’s name wasn’t on the cover for her new release, “Keys to the City,” I wouldn’t have known it was her at first glance. The Brooklyn rapper is almost completely unrecognizable, and dare I say, doll-like, in the artwork for this new release, and I don’t think fans who were waiting for the return of the Notorious K.I.M are going to like it.
Ironically, Kim’s whole comeback has been predicated on her beef with Nicki Minaj and her supposed jacking of Kim’s style but now the same could be said in reverse. Lil’ Kim’s drastic physical transformation began long before Nicki Minaj stepped foot out of Jamaica, Queens, but you can’t deny that Kim appears to be trying to keep up with the Minajes as she attempts to raise her career from the dead—the ever increasing hip-to-waist ratio tells it all.
So how will this new image serve Kim with her first major album release since 2005? I doubt well. Her style has always been eccentric since she stepped on the scene—colored wigs to match her outfits and cleavage bearing shirts when she was actually wearing one, otherwise a nipple cover would do. No matter how raunchy the look was, it was authentic Kim to the masses and that authenticity garnered a certain amount of acceptance and even sex appeal. Kim’s look now is nothing short of scary and the furthest thing from real that you could possibly be, which in a genre that’s all about being the realest in the game makes her look not only foolish but fake.
Watching Kim sing her old hits on BET’s Rip the Runway last week didn’t even feel the same. Where was the dark-browned girl with the blonde wig and the average-sized nose asking, “you wanna rumble with the bee huh?” What we saw on stage was like an imposter doing karaoke. Nothing about Kim is the same from her hair, to her skin tone, to her nose, waist, butt, and hips. Fans aren’t feeling it and she’s definitely not going to be able to crush the Barbie following Nicki Minaj has cultivated at 37 years old.
I’m all for there being another female MC in the game but if Kim wants to be taken seriously she’s going to have to conjure up some of her authentic style—otherwise the title of Queen Bee may no longer apply.
Do you think Lil Kim’s physical transformation is going to hurt her comeback?