This is a woman who almost single handedly opened up the gates of hip hop for other women. Lil Kim unapologetically served explicit and raunchy lyrics, while simultaneously eliminating the sexual double standards that were placed on women. Women during this time very rarely left the R&B bubble, making Lil Kim’s debut album Hardcore (1996) a liberation in a way. R&B was the closest thing a woman could get to being able to rap with the boys during the 90s, and this idea was bulldozed by Lil Kim and her contemporaries like Missy Elliot, Da Brat, Mary J Blige, Eve, Lauryn Hill, and more. I’m not saying Lil Kim is the first woman to rap about the double standards of oral sex or reversing gender roles, but she was one of the first to breakthrough with mainstream success.
So here I go highlighting “Big Momma Thang”, one of my favorite songs from her debut album, Hardcore (1996). This album received an interesting backhanded compliment from Rolling Stones saying, “The album's overreliance on old '70s funk samples doesn't detract a bit from the Queen Bee's fearless rhymes.” I mean, Come on. This was a time where there was an explosion of sampling in the hip hop era; so, ticking off some points from this album for sampling seems a little short sighted. I really dig the sample in this song from “Was It Something I Said(1978)” by Sylvester. The funkadelic bass line from Sylvester’s song was used as the foundation for “Big Momma Thang” and was complimented by a traditional hi-hat and snare beat combo. A melodic synthesizer acts as a finishing hook to the instrumental completing this g funk** inspired instrumental.
I linked the sample below with the song below. Feel free to check it out and let me know your thoughts by clicking on the article title above to comment. Thanks!
**g-funk or gangsta funk is a subgenre of rap with west coast roots. It essentially took 70s funk and added artificial instrumentation to create instrumentals that are almost exclusively tied to west coast rappers like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Eazy-E, Warren G, etc.