20 years after its release, Lil’ Kim’s ‘Hardcore’ remains hard-hitting. With an incredible singles-run, iconic videos and impressive chart stats, the Queen Bee delivered a debut era that defined dynamite.
From The Vault ventures back to that time with the female anthem ‘Ladies Night’ (Not Tonight Remix).’
The cut was co-billed ‘Not Tonight,’ yet the version serviced a single was this remix. And, though the original was produced by Jermaine Dupri, the incarnation of the track that was a worldwide hit was helmed by Rashad ‘Ringo’ Smith.
It famously (and heavily) sampled Kool & The Gang classic ‘Ladies Night’ and saw Kim backed by the fiercest female squad. Who else but Missy Elliott, Left Eye, Da Brat, and Angie Martinez. The latter of whom is renown for her radio career, yet at the time was dabbling in Rap.
This A-list cast managed to take the song all the way up to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Rap charts; Kim’s third consecutive on that tally. It peaked at #11 on the UK Singles Chart and was a Top 5 hit in New Zealand, reaching #4.
Directed by Lance Riveira, the accompanying visual was a girl power affair and featured notable cameos from Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, T-Boz, groups Xscape, SWV, Total and Blaque, as well as actress Maia Campbell.
Scenes of the ladies performing were juxtaposed with clips of them being pampered by chiselled assistants. Also inter-spliced was footage from the movie ‘Nothing To Lose’ – starring Martin Lawrence – for which the song was included on the soundtrack.
Togetherness. It’s a concept that seems to be long forgotten when assessing today’s musical climate. One need not look beyond the “bad bitches” solely needing themselves on their “team.” Or the posters glorifying the “bad blood” which exists between them. The modern crop of female acts have taken the “lonely at the top” concept and run with it. Olympic style.
Kim’s gripe with some of today’s top femcees has often centered on their “supposed” lack of solidarity. Which, regardless of which side of the argument one falls on, is difficult to deny.
In any case, songs such as this, ‘Lady Marmalade,’ ‘Telephone’ and ‘Bang Bang’ prove that there aren’t many things as impactful as female acts united on a track.
We patiently await the next. In the meantime…