Is Lil’ Kim Too Old to Rap or Are Double Standards Pushing Her Out?

October 19, 2011  |  

So a snippet of Lil’ Kim’s new song dropped yesterday and well, let’s just move on…

Between the Drake-esque flows and the auto tuning, an interesting and heated discussion not around the song but Lil’ Kim herself emerged with some friends of mine, who questioned if Lil’

Kim was just too old to make a comeback.

And by old, I’m not talking about played out, to which I would agree to a certain extent. At some point, any rapper over the age of 30 still trying to play the role of a 21-year old girl, chasing after trends and dressing like he/she just stepped out of a high school, needs to probably go sit down somewhere.  However, my male and female friends, believed that Lil’ Kim, who is around 36 years of age, is just too damn old period to rock the mic.  “No one wants to listen to some old lady rap.  It’s just not cute,” said one friend.

Wow. I find this idea of being too old to rap interesting considering that Jay-Z is not to far off from qualifying for an AARP membership himself and still continues to churn out music and play to sell-out audiences.  I brought this point up to my friends but they weren’t hearing it.  One of them remarked: “Listen, I know you don’t like to hear this but the lifespan of a female rapper is much shorter.  No one wants to listen to a female rapper spittin’ about how Hot they are when they are 40. Deal wit it. Jay-Z is like a box of cereal with a long shelf life that you can eat at anytime and it still taste good, Lil’ Kim is like the gallon of milk.  You got to hurry up and drink it or it goes bad.”

First off, I resented my friend’s summation of the role of women in hip-hop. Secondly, Lil’ Kim is 36, which is two years old than me.  If as a woman listener, I can still bangs to hip-hop music than why can’t a woman rapper of a more mature age still be able to bust a rhyme or two and still be lyrically viable?

But I must admit that my friends did have a point – it is rare to see a woman MC past a certain age in the game.  Queen Latifah, who was commanding us to put Ladies First in the industry, has abandoned the mic in favor of movies.  Mc Lyte, who told us not to be Paper Thin, is still around but only as a guest host on award shows. Lady of Rage, well she was still rocking rough and stuff with her Afro Puffs on the BET cypher but ain’t no one calling her to spit verses on an album.

Matter of fact, most female emcees never seem to go past an album or two before being banished to the Def Jam early-retirement plan. And even the talk show Queen of Mean Wendy Williams seems to agree, when earlier this year she said, “for whatever reason, old lady rappers don’t work as well as old lady rockers.”

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  • Myra Esoteric

    First of all Lil Kim rocks but these articles make me, as someone around Kim’s age, quite nervous about joining a band and getting into the music industry – period. Granted, my targeted genre is different. But is it all too late?

  • no1 can take a clown face seriously..

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  • I 100% agree with everything you said. They are going to be saying the same thing about nicki 3 yrs from now(nicki will be 30); that they say about lil kim, beacuse you know shes no naomi campbell lol It's strange that nicki would bash lil kim when shes so close to 30. smh

  • ryc73

    Well said!!!

  • chrissy

    Trina is still rappin….

  • chrissy

    too old …huh…..silly rabbits…..

  • Artist PR

    If the guys can still do it, so can Kim.. Rap was built by Generation X anyway.. Just like the baby boomers listen to and support classic rock, Gen X will listen to and support old school Hip Hop. Now PHAYME on the other hand, brings it for the old and new school generation:

  • homie

    Women past 35+ are invisible, sad but true. It will always be
    a double standard to growing older. kim didn't need that surgery
    and it's unfortunate that she felt she should do it. Diddy is the ultimate
    old geiser trying to be young and never marrying.

    • MST

      So Mrs. Obama and the millions of other atttractive, successful women well over 35 are invisible? Really? What planet are you from?

    • Nucckaz_Please

      Listen homie you sound like a nut. First off, there are tons of women walking around 40+ who get hollered at on a regular basis by men of all ages. I'm over 35 and I know 25 year olds who can't eff with me on my worst day. Nowadays if a young chick is cute the Hip Hop society wants to see her on the stripper pole soon as possible. Thus the reason most of you guys will end up with gold digging plastic *itches looking for a come up. On the real tip, most men are the ones washed up at 35.. that's when most of your lower heads stop working properly or getting as hard.. The only reason there's a double standard is because people are too lazy to think for themselves. When a man sees a fine woman the first thing on his mind isn't age believe it.

      • Chyeah

        Speak on it…..

        it's obvious that homie don't know shtt when it comes to women and aging…

  • Jonbo

    man she should give it up..
    ..Subway giving away $250 giftcards …4 their 40th anniversary…next 24 hours only ..i been eating free all

  • IllyPhilly

    Women are suppose 2 mature faster than men. Besides we're in the Ritalin generation. If you don't have trivial lyrics and a catchy dance, these kids are not paying attention. I remember when rappers used "big" words and witty metaphors in songs now everything is simple i.e. hang it up- flat screen.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that age has nothing to do with it. Kim is not respected in the hip hop community anymore and it has nothing to do with the loss of Biggie. Ok, maybe just a little bit, but if Kim would have consistently stayed up on her game and on her grind over the years (and out of the plastic surgeon's office), Kim could make a successful comeback. I thought Eve was going to make a successful comeback a cpl yrs ago when Tangerine dropped, but nothing. No, these women are not going to do Nikki numbers, but I would much rather look at/hear them then that Crayola Clown who makes me cringe every time I see her or hear her speak.

  • Josephhhhhhhh

    Jay z too old (42?? really), diddy too old, snoop too old, fat joe too old, Queen too old, all of them old men are too old to be playing games double standard or not. Perception is different than reality. If you are a woman in your 40's you are considered too old, if you are a man in your 40's you are considered semi old, but that's a PERCEPTION. But REALITY is, BOTH men and women in their 40's are old already. There is no such thing as a woman age or man age. The year does not stop for NEITHER one of them. Bottom line.

    • MST

      What are you talking about? If people in their forties are old, what are people in their eighties or nineties?

  • Monsta Don

    Age has nothing to do with it. As long as you continue to make good music that people WANT to hear, you will remain relevant. It's very simple. Someone please name the last hot song Lil' Kim made? Like really?

    There's your answer.


  • Kim has BEEN wack. This is nothing new. So I'm not surprised that people are pulling the age card on her completely irrelevant attempt at a song. Besides, did she ever REALLY write her own raps? She must have missed Frank Ocean's "Novacaine" or she would have realized that everything she did on her new track is a sign that she has no clue what audiences are looking for. (Which is talent… us listeners LOVE talent).

  • Korey

    Isn't Nikki Minaj 28 years old anyway? By the presidential election, she'll be on her way out… maybe.

  • Chaka1

    Rap is over anyway. She needs to follow LaToya back to reality TV.

  • Sgt Pepper

    We still have to look at Diddy's old ass, don't we?

    • cleojones

      no shyt!!!

  • Re LL

    Sorry I disagree, Lil Kim is past her prime and instead of trying to regain the number one female spot she should be trying to put another female on. But that would be impossible since to me she is like the 50 Cent of the female industry. She put a female on, then she will be going at her for not paying her homage or respect. Besides you see the influence Lil Kim had on females when she was coming out, she almost made it alright to be whorish. What we don't need is 30 and 40 year old females trying to have swag and get they groove back. And like Steve Harvey say, " you can't do what I do and still be a lady."

    • Nukkaz_Please

      Please.. Some 30 and 40 year old women never lost their groove in the first place. You men are fooling yourself if you think women have a shelf life. Trust me the party just begins at 35 cause that's when most women break free of the mental shackles you try to place on her through the media run by old ass men.. Keep listening to Harvey and Baisden and them other characters and you'll be old alone or surrounded by a bunch of air headed chickens ready to bounce soon as your doe run out..