Black Friday

Exclusive Q&A: Lil’ Kim Talks ‘Black Friday,’ Nicki Minaj, & Foxy Brown

On the heels of her Black Friday mixtape and video, Lil’ Kim phoned into to speak about the project and all the controversy surrounding its release. Nothing was off limits. The Brooklyn rapper shared her thoughts on Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday album and if there’s any possibility of an end to their “hip-hop war.” She also revealed which member of Young Money-Cash Money she’s cool with and those who crossed her. Plus, what does Kim think of Foxy Brown’s diss record “Massacre” and where do her and Diddy stand today? Kimmy Blanco speaks up in our exclusive Q&A.

What can fans expect once they receive the mixtape?
They can expect a new Kim as well as the old Kim. I think why people love “Black Friday” so much is that you got an element of the old Kim in there that everyone can feel. You can feel the spirit of Hard Core on “Black Friday” and the spirit of the new Kim on “Black Friday” as well. I think that’s one of the reasons why “Black Friday” was so successful. It’s such a happy medium on that record and I think that’s what my fans had been waiting for for so long. I just feel that people are going to be pretty much happy. This to me is an hors d’oeuvre before the main meal. It’s an appetizer, put it that way. I think once the main course comes, people are gonna be so full. And not full to the point where they don’t want to eat anymore, but full to the point where the food was so good that you just want your stomach to die down so you can eat some more.

Have you listened to Pink Friday?
I couldn’t listen to the whole thing. I’ve heard some songs from it. I’ve never deemed her to be a horrible artist, I just think that people give her more credit than she actually deserves. It’s not even her who’s made her career exactly what it is, it’s the machine behind her. I’m not up against Nicki Minaj. I’m up against the Universal/Cash Money machine. You put that machine behind me I would have been dusting her off. At the end of the day, I’m not with Atlantic Records anymore, I’m not with a record company anymore, so anything you see me doing, I’m using my own money, I’m maneuvering my own self, I’m my own boss. She works for a boss. I cut my checks, she gets checks cut to her or probably for her. At the end of the day, I’m handling everything for myself. I’m on a totally different grind than she’s on. You know how you play a video game and you get to a certain level and you gotta break the code, I’ve already broken the code. I’m on the next level of the game [laughs].

A decapitated Nicki is pictured on the mixtape cover. Whose idea was that?
That was a fan’s idea. My fans are just beautiful. I thank God for my fans. They’re the best, the best, the best. This is how they kinda seen it. I like to give my fans opportunity. I have fans who love me and say, “Kim, I wanna do your artwork,” and I give them the chance. My fans are very special to me and I feel like when fans wanna do things for me, I let them go ahead and run with it ’cause they know what the other fans wanna see too.

What do you say to those who are fans of both you and Nicki and are concerned that this could escalate beyond wax?
Right now they don’t need to be concerned. I’m not going to allow anyone to disrespect me or take money out my mouth. I’m like a Malcolm X in that sense, but at the end of the day, I’ve been there done that, I know where things like this can lead. People gotta know that I’m not stupid, but I’m having fun. I’m protecting my brand and my empire at this moment. If this situation is deeper than what everybody would like to think it is, then it will all come to light. I’m a strong believer in how I conducted my strategy with this whole situation.

If you see Nicki in person, what would you say?
What is there to say [laughs]? There’s nothing to say. I’ve never said, “When I see you, I’m gonna do that.” I’m not into all that ’cause this ain’t beef. People have no idea what beef is unless you grew up how I grew up and where I grew up at. This is nowhere near beef. It’s an insult to even call this beef to people who really have beef in the streets and overseas and other countries where it’s real beef. This is nothing to even take to a different level. I’m not gonna let nobody disrespect me or my family or my freakin’ money. It’s definitely a hip-hop war and I’m protecting my empire, and I’m definitely protecting my brand. It’s an entertainment war.

Will we ever see a day where the two of you do a record together?
The only way that’s gonna happen is it’s definitely gonna take a check. At the end of the day, I’m a boss. I was a hustler before I was an entertainer. What I mean by that is, I love music—love, love, love music. I love entertaining, I love being in the industry, but the truth of the matter is if music and the industry didn’t bring me money, this would not be my first occupation. I also am a businesswoman and I know that living life, you have to eat. If the industry was designed where you didn’t make money from it, it was just music to produce, I would still do it, but it wouldn’t be my first occupation.

Has anyone from the Young Money-Cash Money crew reached out to you?
They reached out in the beginning when this all happened. Not Wayne, I think Wayne was locked up. Baby did reach out to me and I had nothing to say ’cause out of everyone over there, I think the two who ignited a lot of this is Baby and Drake, and in some way Slim. I really don’t have much to say to them. I’ve never really had nothing against Wayne. I think Wayne was the most mature one in the whole situation and the one who handled it the right way to me. I think me and Wayne actually like each other. I think we both like each other’s style. I think it’s been like that for a while. A lot of people don’t know, before this situation happened, I was making alliances with Cash Money because I saw them trying to pattern this girl after me. I figured she’s somebody that I could actually help and we both could rock together, but she didn’t want it like that. I have someone on my team by the name of Fendi that used to manage her and he said that she was always jealous of any female that they even brought around to try to put in the group or make situations with. She was always jealous of me. At the same time, she was a fan though—I’m not gonna deny that, but she would say little hateful things and her mission was to come into the industry and try to destroy me or get me out the way, so she could be the only female in the industry.

Foxy Brown released a diss record aimed at you called “Massacre.” What did you think of that? Did you hear it?
[Laughs] I don’t think she heard it. I don’t even—I couldn’t even—you know what, next question. [Laughs] That was the biggest joke of the industry ever. Hilarious, hilarious. I don’t understand it.

How are things between you and Diddy these days?
I don’t speak to Diddy. He basically showed his side and what he wanted to do, so he can go over there and run with it.

Lil’ Kim talks about her next studio album, working with Dr. Dre, and who her favorite current rappers are in the next part of our interview, coming next week.