Nicki Minaj recently sat down with media personality Joe Budden and discussed everything from her career to surprisingly, her longstanding rival, Lil’ Kim. Except on this occasion, Minaj had nothing but support to give the rap icon. She used the moment to highlight Lil’ Kim’s influence and called out Vogue for not giving female rappers their flowers. “When Billie Eilish comes out and sets a trend with her green hair, she’s immediately put on American Vogue,” she says.
Historically, the two rappers have not gotten along. It all began when Minaj’s single release promo featured her in Lil’ Kim’s iconic squat that she posed in for her debut album, Hard Core. Fans placed the images side-by-side and it sparked controversy over whether Minaj was copying Kim. The history between the two gets even more dramatic with a number of negative run-ins within the industry. But ultimately, Lil’ Kim’s influence — from her colored wigs to her Barbie doll aesthetic — is undeniable.
In Lil’ Kim’s rap history, she has not only influenced the rap game but high fashion as well. She was the first female rapper to be invited to the Met Gala and even attended the ball as the muses of Donatella Versace and Marc Jacobs. Vogue has interviewed the icon on her influence, but has never featured her on a cover.
Minaj continued to say, “The same way I feel I should have already been on the cover of American Vogue, so should have Lil’ Kim. If we being all the way a thousand. If this is what your magazine represents, influence … when myself or Lil’ Kim goes on the internet, every day we see our influence. We will see our influence. So, I’m not gonna say it’s about me only and not give that woman her dues.”