Hip-Hop’s relationship with Politics has often been acrimonious, to say the least.
From the days of national lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle enacting Parental Advisory and censorship-lite in response to trailblazers like N.W.A. and the 2Live Crew up to Y.G and Nipsey Hussle’s “FDT” the gulf between the two subsets of American culture have repeatedly found each other at odds.
That perceived rift would be no different between a yet to be Vice President Elect Kamala Harris and Hip-Hop’s Queen Bee, Lil’ Kim. Hailing from Oakland, raised with progressive values, Howard University graduate and member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Harris’ political ascendancy has been quite the impressive feat: a Bay Area prosecutor turned S.F. District Attorney who then served as a California Attorney General prior to her White House run with former Vice President and now President Elect Joe Biden.
Years ago, she decried the deleterious ‘no snitching’ cultural elements in the genre, specifically mentioning Lil’ Kim, in a politically-charged statement, “It is much more serious than what is the code among friends…What I’d like to see in the way we’re handling cases like those of Lil’ Kim that we say as a community that ‘We’re not gonna glorify the gangsta.’”
Although Harris had no involvement in Lil’ Kim’s 2005 Federal Perjury conviction, fans of the Brooklyn emcee have laid blame at her feet nevertheless. Her quote was featured in a 2006 BET documentary entitled Countdown to Lockdown, which that covered Kimberly Jones’ legal troubles. The Notorious K.I.M. would be sentenced for a 1 year and 1 day prison term with a $50,000 fine.
How does the Queen Bee feel about California Attorney’s General election to Vice President? In a response to fans bringing the aforementioned commentary back to the fore, Lil’ Kim wrote, “right support sis any way because she’s a woman a black woman at that then she will see that her actions and words were coming from a hateful place inside herself Seeing this will make her feel stupid and hateful very happy that they Won period [hands emoji] #change #lovewins…”
Lil’ Kim is happy for new VP-elect Kamala Harris despite Kamala saying Kim contributes to glorified gangster culture on Kim’s tv show in 2005 🐝— Female Rap Room (@FemaleRapRoom) November 8, 2020
“Support sis anyway because she’s a woman, a black woman at that” pic.twitter.com/wLgbuJlFZL
On her charges, Kim said, “I testified falsely during the grand jury and the trial. At the time I thought it was the right thing to do, but now I know it was wrong.”
Her recent words, although congratulatory, seemed to deny the remorse she expressed to the judge at her sentencing. On one end, Jones says her personal decision to testify falsely “was wrong” yet her statement about Harris and her remarks about the anti-snitching culture strike as critical, if not vengeful.
A variety of perspectives can be tolerated or even appreciated, but the standard that can often be the most crucial is consistency. An opportunity to mend a fractious relationship is perhaps muddied by a message that seeks to simultaneously congratulate and avenge.