'All Hail the Queens' brought feminism back to rap.
The 2016 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors returned to New York City after six years on Monday (July 11th 2016) and, as expected, it was jam-packed with hip-hop's biggest trailblazers. Plus, they were all women in a special edition dubbed 'All Hail the Queens'. This is the 8th ceremony since it made its debut in 2004.
LIL' KIM joins honorees at the 2016 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors
Leading this year's honorees at Manhattan's Lincoln Center was Queen Latifah who performed 'U.N.I.T.Y.' and tried to focus all attention on the issues in the press recently regarding racism, police brutality and Black Lives Matter. 'We all know that the world and our world is really tense right now', she said. 'It's a lot of tension. It's a lot of angst. It's a lot of hurt. A lot of pain. I'm hoping that we can somehow manage to channel all of these emotions that we have in a positive way and really do something to change our world.'
Also honored at the event was Lil' Kim. Surprisingly, her long time feud with Faith Evans appeared to come to an end, with the former wife of The Notorious B.I.G. having plenty of touching things to say about her husband's former protegee. For once.
'She brought sexy to hip-hop first', said Evans. 'Lil' Kim's debut album, Hard Core, was the beginning of a new era for freedom for female MCs. She turned sex into power and made no rules.' She did, however, go on to allude to their beef - it's not exactly something that can be ignored, after all.
'But first and foremost, Kim was an incredible MC. Hello, she had to be!' She continued. 'Her mentor and collaborator, the Notorious B.I.G., was one of the greatest MCs ever, if not the greatest. She went toe to toe with him. Sometimes she went toe to toe with me, hello! What up, Kim!?'
Another memorable moment from Lil' Kim's time at the event was when she performed 'Get Money' with Rich Homie Quan, who appeared to forget the words for the Notorious B.I.G.'s part. He later apologised on Instagram, citing 'technical difficulties' and getting 'nervous'.
Missy Elliot and Salt-N-Pepa rounded off all the honorees, and even First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama had a message for pioneering female rappers of the evening. 'You all are empowering young women around the world to believe in themselves and fulfill their boundless promise', she told them in a pre-recorded video.