“I’m just trying be me…”
We’re taking From The Vault back to the very early 00’s today with one of female rap’s greatest singles. It’s Lil’ Kim’s ‘No Matter What They Say’.
Masterminded by Diddy – or Puff Daddy at the time – the track is interestingly a Salsa/Hip-Hop fusion where Kim unapologetically boasts that she doesn’t care for the critics. A tongue-in-cheek ego-trip, its break goes back to absolute basics, giving a nod to The Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight as well as sampling Eric B. & Rakim‘s ‘I Know You Got Soul’.
Though it’s definitely one of Kimberly’s most iconic moments, the single was only a moderate hit the world over, peaking at #60 on Billboard’s Hot 100 tally and #35 in the UK.
With good pals Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Jadakiss and mentor Diddy on board, we are presented with the “Queen Bee Show”. Indeed with as many costume (and wig) changes as there are sets, Kim does burlesque, runway model, ghetto fabulous, sexy señorita and street dancer with much gusto during the 4 minutes affair.
Directed by Marcus Raboy, the year 2000 visual has undeniably been an inspiration for all the female MCs with Pop aspirations that came after Miss Jones.
No matter what they say (pun intended, of course), Kim remains Hip-Hop Royalty. More over, it’s songs and videos like these that force the naysayers to recognize her trail-blazing status and tremendous influence on Pop Culture.
All hail Queen Bee!