eMusic Review 0
The Notorious B.I.G. famously romanced the diminutive spitfire retail clerk Kimberly Jones. During their affair he encouraged her to pursue her own music career with tough love, sometimes too tough. But aggression had its rewards, and eventually Kimberly became Lil' Kim, rap's Queen Bee, a brassy, dynamic counterpart. But Big was not an invisible collaborator. He also wrote several of her lyrics — recently leaked demos featuring Biggie delivering some of Kim's more explicit sex raps are a truly startling thing to hear.
Biggie's greatest influence, though, may have been the slow, confident tone Kim adopted. Throughout Hard Core, not just one of the best female hip-hop albums of all-time, but also one of the finest documents of East Coast rap, Kim is almost insouciant about her prowess. "I used to be scared of the dick/ Now I throw lips to the shit/ handle it like a real bitch," she raps on "Big Momma Thing." She demands oral sex left and right, pops off about the power of her own gifts, and stands toe-to-toe with Jay-Z, Lil' Cease, and, on three songs, Biggie. Musically, Hard Core picks up where Ready To Die left off, with languorous snatches of '70s funk and… read more »