Lil’ Kim shut down the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards.
The rap icon was honored with the “I Am Hip Hop” Award during the 14th annual ceremony in Atlanta, which aired on the network Tuesday night. Following an introduction from Rick Ross and a video tribute featuring Missy Elliott and Mary J. Blige, the Queen Bee took the stage to accept the award.
With her 5-year-old daughter Royal Reign in the audience, a humbled Kim thanked her family and friends including The Notorious B.I.G. “I don’t know if ya’ll know what it’s like to have an angel following you all the time, but that’s Biggie,” she said. “I’ma always love him, I’ma always ride for him. I don’t play about him. That’s just what it is—Brooklyn. I love you to the heavens, Biggie.”
She acknowledged that she felt some type of way about not being honored by BET in the past, but knew that her time was coming. “Now I’ve come to realize that when you’re the mother and you have set trends and people call you mother…When people honor you and give you the name Queen, you get rewarded differently.”
Following her speech, Lil’ Kim closed out the show with a career-spanning medley of hits starting with her new single “Pray for Me” featuring Musiq Soulchild. Dressed in a sparkly catsuit, she continued with “Lighters Up” before spitting her verse on Mobb Deep’s “Quiet Storm (Remix).” She brought out O.T. Genasis for “Found You” and reunited with Junior M.A.F.I.A., including Lil Cease, for “Player’s Anthem” and “Crush on You (Remix),” capping it off with her explosive verse on Puff Daddy’s “It’s All About the Benjamins.”
On Friday, Lil’ Kim is set to release her long-awaited album 9, her first in more than 14 years. The project features collaborations with Rick Ross, Musiq Soulchild, and Rich the Kid.