written by: Carla Bynum
The “Queen Bee” wants to prove that she still deserves her place in the rap world and she attempts to do that with the release of her mixtape Hardcore, not to be confused with her debut album Hard Core released 18 years ago.
She starts off with a pointless intro, “In A Minor Part 2” before we get to the good stuff. Lil Kim dedicates the mixtape to her haters, which is especially apparent on songs such as “Haterz” featuring B. Ford and “Identity Theft.” Per the usual, Lil Kim took a shot at current reigning female rapper Nicki Minaj on the latter. Lil Kim has accused Nicki of stealing her style for years and this track is no different. The song “Dead Gal Walking” also is seemingly about Nicki Minaj, but I could be wrong.
She also raps about life growing up in Bed-Stuy and learning from the hood on tracks such as “Stadium Music” featuring Yo Gotti, “Suicide” featuring French Montana and “MIGO” featuring TLZ and Young Bonds.
Another theme on the mixtape is about Lil Kim’s expensive taste which can be heard on the songs “Trendsetter” and “Whenever You See Me” which features Philadelphia rapper Cassidy and a sample from “Ready or Not” by the Fugees.
On one of the mixtape’s standouts, “Real Sick” featuring Jadakiss, she samples the song “Victory” by Puff Daddy featuring the Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes.
She also samples 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake’s “Ayo Technology” for the song “Work the Pole,” a song about her sexual skills.
Hardcore is a step in the right direction for the rapper but it is unlikely that it will captivate audiences the way the old Kim did. With mundance themes and mediocre delivery, Hardcore might not be the best representation of Lil Kim’s skills.
Recommended Tracks: “Real Sick,” “Trendsetter,” “MIGO,” “Suicide”