For decades, Lil’ Kim and Eve have been two of hip-hop’s biggest leading ladies. The 1990s saw the rise of a new generation of female rappers including Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, and Da Brat. Some of these artists reinvented women empowerment in hip-hop — and in music as a whole — with lyrics that rivaled their male counterparts in the industry. And while many women in hip-hop were empowered in themselves, there wasn’t much camaraderie to be found between them.
Eve debuted after Lil’ Kim
Lil’ Kim burst on to the hip-hop scene in the mid-1990s alongside The Notorious B.I.G., Diddy, and the rest of the Bad Boy Records crew. Her 1996 debut album Hard Core put the entire industry on notice, and to date has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.
Eve followed in Lil’ Kim’s footsteps after the “Crush on You” rapper toured the country with Diddy and became a hip-hop force to be reckoned with. In 1999, she released her debut album Let There Be Eve… Ruff Ryders’ First Lady and became the third female hip-hop artist to have an album peak at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Foxy Brown’s Chyna Doll.
Lil’ Kim had a bad first impression on Eve
In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Eve reflected on her early days in the music industry and how naïve she was about female rappers being pitted against one another. “Before I’d met anybody, I always thought of it as this sisterhood. I thought we were all gonna be friends. It was not like that,” she said honestly.
She went on to describe her first encounter with Lil’ Kim that was uncomfortable for both of them. “I’d see [Lil] Kim and say hi, and she’d be like: ‘Get the f*ck away from me.’ Not verbally — you could just tell what she was thinking.”
Eve admitted on The Talk in 2018 that Lil’ Kim was likely turned off because she acted too much like a superfan. “When I first started in the business, I had been a big, big, giant fan of Lil’ Kim. So, I would run up to her and be like, ‘Hey girl, I love you so much. I just got signed. Can you please be on my album?’” she recalled. She remembered Kim having a blasé attitude every time they ran into each other.
“I don’t think that she hated me,” she continued. “I think that I was just so overexcited to see her.”
Lil’ Kim and Eve’s friendship today
Kim addressed Eve’s comments on The Talk in a tweet. Her frustration was aimed at fans who sought to pit them against each other rather than celebrate their friendship today.
“Why do you girls always do this to me? Trying to make me out to be the bad guy? I don’t remember it that way at all,” she said. “Eve is my girl; that’s my baby y’all. We are not fighting. We are real friends. We can have this debate and still cuddle on the couch and watch a movie together.”
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