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Lil Kim’s Hardcore Album: The Pretty Ladies Anthem by Timilehin Salu


Lil Kim’s Hardcore Album: The Pretty Ladies Anthem by Timilehin Salu


 
Warning: Lil Kim suggest you get your “supplies” before digging into the album, so does this writer.
Hardcore is Kimberly Jones a.k.a Lil’ Kim’s first solo project as a rap artist. It is widely regarded as album that changed the rap game for female rap artists and gave their male counterparts some heat. It was released on November 12, 1996, by Undeas Recordings, Big Beat Records, and Atlantic Records. After achieving success with the hip hop group Junior M.A.F.I.A. and their album Conspiracy (1995), Kim began working on her solo album with The Notorious B.I.G. serving as the executive producer.
The album contained no filter in her description of her sexual exploits, which was only celebrated from a male POV until her coming. And just as its name implies, the explicit album chronicles a 15 track body of work and a bonus track. The album could be interpreted as giving women the liberty to discuss their bodies, sexual preferences and desires which was made popular by people who don’t look like them. She gives women a voice through her heartfelt rhythm. 
HARDCORE track by track.
Intro In a-Minor 
The album opens with an intro which is based on a Lil Kim fan who takes a taxi to buy the Hardcore album from a stand and then proceeds to a store to get the necessary supplies for the album - tissue, butter(oil) and popcorn- same thing used for solo bathroom moments (*winks*). It introduces the listeners to what to expect in the coming songs- HARDCORE. 
Big Momma Thang (ft. JAY Z & Lil’ Cease)
In this song Lil Kim talks about her initial fears with handling ‘the wand” but now she’s a veteran comparing herself to the like of porn stars; Heather Hunter and Janet Jackme. She sends a warning to her wooers that though she might be good with them, she is not interested in a marriage with anyone but her game- music. Jay-Z’s verse comes as a replacement to Lil Kim’s diss against Faith Evans which was dropped on the disapproval of Notorious B.I.G while the third verse, which had a diss on 2Pac, was re-recorded by Kim.
NO Time (ft. P. Diddy)
Lil Kim formally introduced herself to the world on October 29, 1996 with “No Time,” the first single off her debut album Hard Core.
The song opens with a chorus from P. diddy and Notorious B.I.G at the fade. Diddy talks about sipping his Cristal wine, spreading love, counting his racks and giving zero time to fake nig**** around him. Lil Kim opens verse 1 with the good life of rocking Zsa Zsa Gabor, Demi Moore, Prince Diane, Than Berettas and Amarettas. She warns nig**** who might want to get a taste that they must either be rich or good at their service else- don’t bother. In verse 2 diddy tries to woe Lil Kim and expresses his prowess over her man whose thing is too little. Lil Kim then responds with a detailed exposition of what she’d to do to him. For those who might want to act shady she says in verse 2 “Act shady, and feel my .380 {*gun cocks*}”
Spend a little Doe
In spend a little doe Lil Kim introduces us to an old lover showing up after abandoning her for three years. She pours out her heart in this song and list the numerous sacrifices she had made for this anonymous lover and was even ready to sacrifice her life for their love only to be jilted. She buries herself in drugs and other vices and now she “Go by the name Lil Kim, the Queen ” with zero feelings for her ex-lover.
Take It!
Take it gives the listeners access to The Notorious B.I.G. & Lil' Cease conversation talking about the girls they’d want to get down with.
Crush on You (ft. Lil ‘Cease)
This track was delivered solely by Lil Cease. In Crush on You, Lil' Cease talks to his “crush” and tries to woo her to his side. 
Lil Kim, in a subsequent interview provided background information about the track:
“I do remember being pregnant at the end of that album, where I couldn’t really finish some of the songs and that’s how Lil’ Cease ended up on “Crush on You.” He wasn’t supposed to be on that record, but I was sick and I had to go away and clear my head because I was pregnant. I wanted to finish the album because that’s what I wanted. I really wanted to display my talent to the world.”
Drugs
This track features Notorious B.I.G. on the chorus where he compares his lover’s body to his Ganja citing that they have the same effect on him. His lover’s body though is the Ultimate drug, bringing with it “a different kind of high”.
Scheamin’
Unlike Take It that had guys fooling around on the girls they’d like to get down with, Scheamin’ focuses on girls talk on how to cunningly steal from a target.  In this case it’s Lil Kim & her home girl who were basically plotting on sleeping with Biggie & other members of Junior M.A.F.I.A and take their money after.
Queen B@#$H
In this song, Lil Kim brags about her queen status amongst other women. She raps about Alpha female status. Regarded perhaps as Lil Kim’s most strong delivery on the whole Hard Core album, this song raised the bar for lyrics in the female hip-hop game.
Dreams
“Dreams of fucking an R&B dick”. This song pays tribute to various R&B artist Lil Kim would want to get down with. From R. Kelly to Horace Brown, to D’ Angelo and many more, Lil Kim takes her listeners on a journey of what she would do to each of them if her “Dreams of fucking an R&B dick” came through.
M.A.F.I.A Land
Loyalty, Hierarchy, Retribution, Loneliness, Fear of the unknown, Jealousy and the highest of them all; Death. This song narrates the way of life of the M.A.F.I.A and the values ingrained in them.
We Don’t Need It (ft. Junior M.A.F.I.A)
On this track Kim reunites with her former group, Junior MAFIA to deliver a masterpiece. We don’t need to tell you what this track is about, Lil Kim and Junior MAFIA already did, if you still don’t understand after listening, then ‘you don’t need it’ (*winks*).
Not Tonight
Not tonight is about an Angry Kim rebuking her love interests for failing to give her the much need orgasm she desires. She rebuffs their advances with Not Tonight and directs them to exactly what she wants- eat her honey pot.
Player Haters
Two Junior MAFIA haters having a conversation on their beef with the group and Lil’ Kim.
**** You (ft. Lacerncy & Trife)
The album closes with a shout out to Junior M.A.F.I.A from two members of the now defunct group.
 At this point, you should be plugged in on the album already. Enjoy!

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