When I read the coverage about the gentrified beef between Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift, I’m reminded of last week and what real beef looks like. Of all the wonderful things that happened at VH1’s Hip Hop Honors, one moment that continues to linger in my mind is Faith Evans introducing the tribute to Lil’ Kim. Fans of both know how far back that beef goes. I still listen to the remix of “Big Momma Thang” in which Kim, whom we all know had a romantic relationship with the late Notorious B.I.G. takes shots at his widow.
For those unfamiliar: “Let me stress the tattoo on your breasts B.I.G. your rockin my property/P.Y.P. play your position/Know I got ya wishin you neva started dissin/Plus I give head better than you/P-ssy get wetter than you, f-ck better than you I dedicate this song to ya ass
Like R. Kelly and that twin Pac up in your belly.”
In the years following Biggie’s 1997 death, the rift between the two stars appeared to have subsided. It felt like time was the cure for the bad blood. However, it was reawakened in 2008 when Evans released her book, Keep the Faith: A Memoir. The book gave validation to many of the rumors and innuendo associated with their turbulent history. The release of the Biggie biopic Notorious also added fuel to the reignited drama. In an interview with Hip Hop Weekly, Kim aired out her frustrations with both Faith and Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace. Kim threatened to “expose” them both and proceeded to call Evans’ book “tasteless” and insinuated that her “funds must be low.” Kim went on to say, “Faith, you know me, I’m an extremist I go hard. Once I start I don’t stop. Why would you wake up this sleeping giant?”
In response, Evans said, “I don’t think there’s anything about me that I would be ashamed of that I haven’t already told people…I hope she found the closure she’s looking for.”
Five years after the release of her memoir Evans continued to conduct herself as someone who had fully moved on from the situation. During an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, Evans said of the long-running feud: “I’m not trippin’. I’ve made peace, first of all with God, a long time ago, especially once we lost [Big]. All of that certainly went out the window. Before he passed away, I removed myself from any ill feelings toward her for that.”
Evans did, however, note that she ran into Kim at Diddy’s White Party in Los Angeles in the years prior and when trying to congratulate the Brooklyn rapper on her appearance on Dancing With The Stars, Kim allegedly looked at her and said, “Who is that?” I was actually at that party – thank you, generous publicist – and word did quickly spread about that encounter once it happened.
Of all the things I’ve come to learn about the legendary Lil’ Kim over time, it is that more often than not, she can hold a grudge. Some of her beefs have settled — including ones with Remy Ma and Eve, but others definitely linger, though. You can ask Foxy Brown about that.
Well, you could press Naturi Naughton about it too. On Sunday, Lil’ Kim took to Instagram to note how she had “half the cast of Power” honoring her at the Hip Hop Honors. Considering Kim was very vocal about her displeasure with Naughton’s portrayal of her in Notorious movie, the shade was evident.
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So, when the Bad Boy Reunion Tour was announced months ago and footage of Evans and Kim playfully getting along surfaced, many people (myself included) had feelings of both shock and joy. I’m not sure what was said on either end to bring about this visual, but I’m glad it happened. Though it might have made sense for them to have beef in the 1990s, so much time has since passed. Given time to further reflect on that fully grown adult moment when Faith introduced Kim for the Hip Hop Honors tribute, I think about how big it was of “I Love You” singer to do this. As much as I adore Kim, the public perception was that she was more responsible for dragging out the beef for years, more so than Evans. It’s nice to see that the two could finally let go of old bad feelings and just salute each other as the pioneers they both are.
When I think about the Faith and Kim rift, I ponder about all of the meaningful “GIRL, THAT MAN DID US BOTH WRONG” songs we could’ve had. Brandy and Monica had “The Boy Is Mine,” but Faith and Kim could’ve had so much more given that their situation was as real as it gets. You can’t see me, but I’m pouring out a lil’ brown liquor in memory of what could have been. I’m all the way here for celebrating this better late than never moment. No time for these fake ones.
Thank you for making peace, Kim and Faye. Kim, I’d ask you to do the same with Foxy or Nicki Minaj, but I won’t press my luck. Feel free to continue being mad at Lil’ Cease, though. Just know that you can call me to perform his verses from “Crush On You” whenever.