INTERVIEW: Lil' Kim Talks ‘American Gangster: Trap Queens’ And Spending Time With Daughter Royal
Hip Hop rap icon and Grammy Award-winning artist Lil Kim’ is trading in her emcee mic for a moment as she becomes the narrator for the second season of American Gangster: Trap Queens. On Jan. 14, the second season of the BET+ unscripted series returned to the platform to “explore the rise, fall and redemption of America’s most notorious female criminals,” states the official press release.
The first five episodes of the criminal chronicles are already released. They feature the stories of Perrion Roberts, Brandi Davis, Dwen Curry, Tiffani Rose Peak and Shauntay Henderson, told by the Queens themselves and those closest to them.
“We’re talking about people’s lives and serious trauma that they’ve gone through. But it’s not foreign to me,” says Lil’ Kim.
AGTQS2 explores crimes of drug trafficking, grand theft and wire fraud.
During an with BET.com, the rapper spoke about her role as the narrator of season two, a possible biopic, and how she's getting through the pandemic and life with her daughter, six-year-old Royal.
BET.com: As one of the most recognized voices from Brooklyn within the Hip Hop community, how does it feel to be the narrator of American Gangster Trap Queens: Season 2?
Lil’ Kim: This [season's] American Gangster Trap Queens is more intense because we're talking about serious stuff. We're talking about people's lives and the serious trauma that they've gone through. But it's not foreign to me. I have so much in common with many of these girls; coming up in the hood and being from the hood, you automatically resonate with them. Brandi sticks out to me. She was around the same group of people that I was in this industry around, just knowing that we're all striving for those same things. And we all come from the hood. I'm sure girls from the hood watching are going to identify with that same thing.
BET.com: After narrating the series, did you learn anything new or unexpected about the women featured in the series?
Lil’ Kim: I wouldn’t say unexpected because these girls’ lives were just … you know these stories. It’s always a man messing up their life. It’s the truth. When I was away and in prison, I would say 85 percent of the girls were in there because of a guy or a guy was involved in their situation. . It’s crazy because a lot of these women were villains that ended up being victorious. This is really what these women are. Just surviving is victorious.
BET.com: We are in the biopic era, and fans are waiting to see “The Lil Kim” story on the big screen. You have been approached to tell your life story numerous times but are you ready?
Lil’ Kim: I am ready. I feel like it’s going to be a process for me to even get to the first step to the Lil Kim Movie. It’s going to be hard for me. Everyone that knows me knows that I’m a little private. I definitely think it’s time because I never got to tell my story. Everyone has been telling it for me. I’m ready for my fans to really get to know me and know who I am.
BET.com: You have told fans that you can see Teyana Taylor starring as you in your biopic. Besides someone in the industry, can you think of anyone you’d want playing you in the film?
Lil Kim’: I’m from Brooklyn, born and raised. Brooklyn is a very unique town. We are unique. And I always feel like the only person that could play Lil Kim is a very unique girl, so I would love for that girl to be from Brooklyn. I would have to really be connected with this girl. You can’t teach a girl how to be from Brooklyn.
BET.com: How have you been dealing with the pandemic? Is it a source of inspiration for new music, or are you concentrating on other projects and mommy and me time with your daughter, Royal?
Lil’ Kim: I am definitely spending more time with my baby. That is the sweetest part of this whole thing and the happiest part. She is so smart, and I am so proud of her. She does excellent in school. [We are] in a pandemic, so it's not going to always be peaches and cream. Because mentally, we all have to stay healthy, this is rough. It's up and down, bittersweet. I feel like God's hand is over me, and that's who I am looking to. This is the defining moment in people's lives.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.