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Lil’ Kim’s debut album Hard Core sent shockwaves throughout the music industry. Starting with the promotional poster for the album, Kim’s sexualized image shocked and scandalized. Before her, legends such as Queen Latifah, Salt N Pepa, and MC Lyte made it understood that women could hold their own in rap and paved the way for Kim and others like her.

Lil’ Kim became the Queen of Rap and there’s nothing anyone can do about that. No matter what they say, Kim cemented her impact on music. She continues to influence music and style, from Nicki Minaj to Miley Cyrus. It was okay to be sexy as a woman in hip hop because of Kim. It was okay to own your sexuality as a woman in R&B and hip hop because of Kim. It was okay to have style AND flow as a woman in rap. Lil’ Kim set the trends for woman in rap. Period.