The Queen Bee sat on her throne last night at VH1’s “Hip Hop Honors,” which returned after a six-year hiatus to honor the female pioneers of the culture.
The event, which also honored Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, and Salt-N-Pepa, featured a Lil’ Kim musical tribute, a fashion retrospective, and a performance from the Notorious K.I.M. herself.
Following an introduction from Faith Evans (who acknowledged their rocky past), Lil Mama, DeJ Loaf, and Teyana Taylor served up a royal performance, as they rocked out to “Crush On You” and “No Time.” Teyana was also given a second shot at the stage, performing “It’s All About the Benjamins” with The Lox.
Lil’ Kim’s own performance wasn’t a smooth one, however. It seemed she tripped up on a few of her lyrics from “Queen Bitch.” Then, Rich Homie Quan flubbed Notorious B.I.G.’s verse on Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s “Get Money,” only getting past a handful of bars before Kim took over with her own verse from the song.
French Montana, Fat Joe, and Remy Ma were among those looking on as Queen Bee transitioned into a performance of “Lighters Up.” DeJ Loaf joined Kim for this cut, hyping her up for the finale.
The celebration continued when Diddy surprised his Bad Boy sister with a glowing speech. “I couldn’t miss this, baby. I love you so much,” he told Kim after giving her a big hug. “You always push the envelope. There’s only one Queen Bee.”
After showering her with praise, a cake was wheeled out and Puff led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to Kim.
In addition to her music, Kim’s style was also celebrated. Models including Jessica White and Winnie Harlow paid tribute to Kim’s memorable looks with a style retrospective that had a runway-inspired feel.
Two of the four looks—the Louis Vuitton print and the Notorious K.I.M. cover—came from David LaChapelle’s Kim collabs. Her famous “Crush On You” green bob look was also celebrated and so was her boob-baring purple pasty outfit from the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.