Queens, queens and more queens. That’s who Lil’ Kim lined up for the remix of her single “Not Tonight.” To remix, back then, meant upping the ante by several bars, and with emcees Da Brat, Angie Martinez, Missy Elliott and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes on the track, it became something that’s never been duplicated.
As an addition to the Nothing to Lose soundtrack, “Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)” sampled “Ladies Night” by Kool and the Gang and lit its way up the charts–peaking at number 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the U.S. It’s reign on the rap charts also made it Lil’ Kim’s third number one hit, making her the first female rapper to obtain the accomplishment. After which, the single went on to platinum status.
So what keeps the track tattooed on our minds?
It’s the rap Mae West to Q – B
And I got all my sisters with me!
Simple: pure unity. In a time when these talented women could’ve easily pit themselves against one another, claiming dominance over the rap game as a whole, they didn’t. It was all love. There was room for all–with specific lanes and trades each uniquely mastered. None of these women wanted to stake their claim on that because they revered one another for their skills. That’s beautiful. Pair this respect with positivity and the stunning looks of each artist and you have recipe for the decades. Not to mention, the impressive cameos of everyone’s favorite, Auntie Mary J. Blige, T-Boz, Queen Latifah, SWV, Xscape, Total, Maia Campbell and Blaque. Man, what I’d give to go back in a time machine and attend this function!
Lastly, the song and video are an everlasting capsule of cosmic light gifted from the late Left Eye. She could hang with the best of them–no matter the sex–while avoiding token and tired shots, flipping words in ways no one has ever attempted. She’s dearly missed, spunk, creativity and all. No measure of time will ever narrow her space in the world.
To travel back to memory lane, press play below.