Lil’ Kim Lights Up NYC’s Irving Plaza
Though the crowd was thin last night at New York City's Fillmore at Irving Plaza, Lil Kim threw a hex on them, performing her oeuvre of hits. The Queen Bee ripped through cuts from her 1996 debut 'Hardcore,' put her own twist on Gucci Mane 'Freaky Gurl,' Rihanna's 'Hard' and Waka Flocka Flame's 'O Lets Do It,' and brought out Ray J to duet on their 2001 single 'Wait a Minute.'
The show got off to a rocky start when Kim battled a wardrobe malfunction during the first few songs. With a purple scarf draped across her face, Kim, wearing nothing but black lace bra and panties, struggled to keep her top from falling down, but to no avail. She continued regardless, performing the beginning verses of 'How Many Licks,' 'The Jump Off' and 'Big Momma Thang.'
But the crowd roared when Kim, somewhat squawking into the mic, was crowned with a tiara by her stagehands, looking dead into the audience and stating, "Biggie said this would happen" as she wiped away tears. She pulled herself together and left the stage, only to reemerge with a pink wig over her jet-black hair, ready to tackle 'Crush on You (Remix)'. But before launching into the track, Kim shot some more subliminal messages towards throne-threatener Nicki Minaj, barking, "You know who started this shit." After ripping through the track, she pulled off the wig and flung it into the crowd. "They can have this,' she said. 'I'm above this, and I can move on to bigger and better things."
Ray J, who showed up with his big sister Brandy in tow, echoed Kim's sentiments – not once, but twice. "I see a lot of imposters', he said. 'Kim is the number one female rapper ever. I ain't sayin' no names, but you know names."
Kim kicked the drama to the curb for the rest of the set, which included performances of 'Let It Go', 'No Time', 'All About the Benjamins' and 'Get Money,' where she shouted out her fallen mentor Notorious B.I.G. Making a sly reference to the rumors that she had recently signed to Jay-Z's imprint Roc Nation, Kim threw a diamond in the air and shouted, 'It's the Roc!' despite the fact that no confirmation from either Kim or the label has been made.
The show became somewhat chaotic when she invited roughly two-dozen fans on stage near the end of the performance, showcasing the diversity among those in attendance. Kim broke down in tears as she hugged her fans and proceeded to grind up on three shirtless men during 'Magic Stick.' For her next wardrobe change, she slapped on a Yankees fitted to sing 'Empire State of Mind' before the closer 'Lighter's Up.' The Queen made her exit after blowing a kiss to the audience -- yet another tender moment for a night where emotions were flying high.