Lil Kim is one of the leading women in Hip-Hop music. Throughout her career, her ever changing appearance has seen people making hurtful comparisons to a feline. However, an Oregon police department felt her likeness was more akin to that of a dog, and named one of the K-9’s in their unit after the “How Many Licks” hitmaker.
According to the Daily Mail, “Community leaders complained the Belgian Malinois’ name was insensitive given the use of police dogs against black people – including in the civil rights era – and the musician’s status as a leading black hip hop star.”
Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz defended the dogs name, saying it was not influenced by the rapper and was actually influenced by the dogs size since she is smaller than the other K-9’s. The have agreed to change her name and simply call her Kim.
The rename comes after Riccardo Waites, the founder of the Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly, filed a complained. He said in a video Thursday: ‘If you’re a person of color, or if you’re a fan of Lil’ Kim, you know her significance in Hip Hop.” He continued “You also know that she’s a gangster rapper. Just to be honest, I don’t want to see Lil’ Kim out there biting people of color.”
Chief Krantz followed up saying “Although the dog is not named after a musician, it’s important to recognize that some people may assume that or believe that.” He continued “I think in the eyes of some community members there is a connection historically to the use of dogs, specifically on protesters and Black community members, and that, that could bring a fear of canines.”
The Brooklyn Rappers namesake was regularly used in police reports relating to the dog. A Facebook post from January 29 read: “Bend PD K9 Kim (aka Lil’ Kim as she is little but mighty) is turning 6!”
Waites feels that rising tensions between people of color and police departments are only egged on by instances like this when a figure in the black community’s name is being belittled by equating her to a dog, especially one that often apprehends people of color.
‘While it may appear a small or inconsequential matter to some, it is not to those of us who remember how police dogs were used against peacefully protesting civil rights workers and People of Color in the 1960s and are still used as a means of crowd control and intimidation today,” he said in a post.
Kim’s ever changing appearance makes the naming of the dog seem even more problematic, as the stars relationship with plastic surgery has made her virtually unrecognizable in recent years.