Kimberly Denise Jones, known professionally as Lil’ Kim, is an African American rapper, songwriter, actress, model, and reality television personality. The 4′ 11′ Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn native was discovered in 1994 by the late Biggie Smalls then added to his crew, Junior M.A.F.I.A.
1.Hard Core Cover-art
The cover of her debut album Hardcore released in 1996 sent shockwaves across America. The double platinum-selling album’s cover art made her an instant pin-up girl.
The suggestive album cover of the petite jumpoff rapper led to more photos of the perfectly styled petite first lady of the Bad Boy Record Label. Lil Kim introduced her adoring fans to other expensive tastes. Versace, Gucci, Prada, etc. the rapper barely had a song without the mention of these high-end brands.
2. 1999 MTV VMA Awards
When you want to dress up as Lil’ Kim for Halloween, you were this outfit coming in at number two. The purple nipple pasty jumpsuit made a splash around the world. This is one of the most recognized iconic looks of Lil’ Kim’s career. When an icon like Diana Ross can’t even resist you, it’s because you are iconic as well.
3. Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery
If imitation is the best form of flattery then at number 3 on our list of 5 times Lil’ Kim taught us how to dress is when Nicki Minaj released the cover art for her own music in the image of Lil’ Kim.
Lil Kim released Hardcore over 20 years ago. The rapper is such an icon that what she wore before many of hip hop’s newer female rappers were even born, is being remixed and reintroduced today. In fact, it has been said that Lil’ Kim revolutionized the way female rappers are perceived so much so that every successful American female rapper of today has some form of Lil’ Kim inspiration in how she dresses, raps speaks, carries herself, etc.
How many black women were blonde on the Hollywood scene before Lil’ Kim? Lil’ Kim showed us in the late ’90s that blonde hair has nothing to do with your skin color and everything to do with your undertone. Matching blondes to your undertone has been the key to Lil’ Kim’s blonde success. Strawberry blonde, platinum blonde, dirty blonde, etc. she showed brown-skinned women that blonde’s really do have more fun and that they could be one too.
5. Crush on You
Finally, on our list of 5 times Lil’ Kim taught us how to dress is the music video Crush on You. Every outfit, wig, coat, lip color has to been reused, redone, and recycled ever since. This is early on in Lil’ Kim’s career. Lil’ Kim took risks and made it look good. She has never been one to give herself over fully to a stylist without her own approval. So many artists have looks they look back on and regret. As their career prospers they get their style right. Lil’ Kim came straight from the gate with iconic looks that are relevant today.