Is Lil Kim the reigning female ruler of hip hop? Yes, according to Kim herself.
More than 15 years after her Hard Core debut ushered in a new era in female rap, the self-appointed "Queen B" is still holding the crown, Kim asserted in an interview with XXL. "I am definitely the queen," she said. "I definitely see myself as the queen. I am the one who made it possible for females to be sexy. That’s just the bottom line. And [I] still rap hard with the fellas."
An upcoming 40th birthday may have sparked a greater confidence in Kim, who also said she's not hung up on getting respect. "I don't give a f--k," she explained. "It’s whatever. At this point, it is what it is. The streets made me. They stay at me. There’s nothing that’s gonna take away from my legacy. I’m sorry. It is what it is. I’m dying this way. With the crown on my head, nobody can take nothing away from me. It is what it is. I am who I am. Bottom line."
Kim has been calling herself the "Queen B" for most of her career and seemingly battled for the crown against Foxy Brown at one point. Later in her career, she clashed with Nicki Minaj, who once credited Kim with inspiring her own style, and mimicked the 39-year-old's Hard Core cover in an KING magazine photoshoot.
While both beefs have yet to be officially settled, musically Kim is still very much in the game. The Brooklyn native is working on a new mixtape, Hard Core 2K13, and building buzz for her artist Tiffany Fox.
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(Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)