20 Years Later, We Celebrate Lil‚Äô Kim’s Debut ‘Hard Core’ Album & Take A Look At Her Most Stylish Moments

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On this day (November 12) in 1996,¬†Lil Kim¬†released her debut album,¬†Hard Core. She changed the game with her first ever solo LP. The¬†Brooklyn-native dismantled¬†Hip-Hop‘s hyper masculinity with her sexually explicit lyrics, uncensored songs, and raunchy style.

Kim¬†wasn’t afraid to rap about sex and being a bad bitch. She spitted sexual lyrics on the album, just like her mentor and ex-boyfriend,¬†Biggie Smalls¬†taught her. Lil Kim was as raw as they came back then, sexually provocative and a bad bitch to the fullest. She broke barrier for women in the entertainment industry everywhere.

On “Big Momma Thang” Ft.¬†Jay Z,¬†Kim¬†took giving oral sex to a new level — “I used to be scared of the dick, now I throw lips to the shit/Handle it like a real bitch,” she rapped,¬†On the¬†Puff Daddy¬†assisted “No Time,”¬†Kim¬†rapped more sexual about sucking dick — “Now watch mama, go up and down dick to jaw crazy/Uhh! Say my name baby (okay)/before you nut, I’mma dribble down your butt cheeks/make you wiggle, then giggle just a little/I’m drinkin babies,” took famous dudes to bed on “Dreams” — “R. Kelly you think you ballin’ but your body’s callin’/ Free fallin’ and you roll in fuck the bumpin’ and grindin’/Have you jumpin’ and whinin’ while I’m climbin’/I be doing groups like Troop Body rockin H-Town or Horace Brown/Watch out now/Babyface can pay the rent and cook me five meals/But momma got the whip appeal/What the deal on that Prince cat/He be lookin’ fruity but you still can eat the booty,” and repped the streets of Brooklyn on “Fuck You” — “Ain’t scared to bust my pistol, sippin hard on Cristal“. Remember, on¬†the album’s third track,¬†Kim¬†let it be known that she had “No Time” for fake ones?

With features from¬†Biggie Smalls,¬†Puff Daddy, and¬†Junior Mafia, and production by¬†Jermaine Dupri,¬†Stevie J¬†and¬†Stretch Armstrong,¬†Hard Core¬†went straight to the¬†Billboard¬†charts. The album debuted at number 11 on the US¬†Billboard 200, and number 3 on the¬†Billboard‘s¬†Top R&B Albums, and reached the top ten on the¬†Canadian Album Charts. The classic album was certified double platinum by the RIAA in the United States, and has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

Lil Kim¬†is one of the most influential female emcees ever. There’s no female rapper out today, who¬†can’t say she wasn’t influenced by¬†Lil Kim.

Outside of music, the¬†Grammy Award¬†winning artist was a fashion icon. Wearing¬†upscale¬†designers head-to-toe, covered in full length fur coats, draped in¬†diamonds, sipping the finest champagne in videos is¬†Lil Kim. She started those trends!¬†Biggie Smalls‘¬†prot√©g√© brought luxury¬†fashion to¬†Hip-Hop¬†in the mid-90s. Her expensive ensembles turned heads, but her luxurious approach to fashion also made her a designer muse. Until this day,¬†Lil Kim¬†is still good friends with¬†Marc Jacobs.¬†The late great¬†Alexander McQueen¬†used to take her¬†to¬†Milan,¬†Cannes¬†and¬†Paris¬†as his date to¬†Fashion Week.¬†Marc Jacobs,¬†Donatella Versace¬†and¬†Giorgio Armani¬†all demanded to dress the iconic rapper. Her mixed street culture and luxury fashion was “Ghetto fabulous“.

20 years later, she continues to set trends.¬†I checked hundreds of legendary Lil Kim looks and selected some that really epitomize her status as a fashion icon. Let’s take a look at some of¬†Lil Kim‘s most stylish looks.





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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email don@dmfashionbook.com Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.