Lil’ Kim – Hard Core (1996)

Lil’ Kim has had an interesting lifetime over the years. She went to prison at one point. But despite that, she also made some great music.

This, her debut, is likely her best. It’s rap with some different beats and textures you’d normally expect elsewhere. It’s also a really great listen. Let’s check out this album.

Intro In A-Minor is a hilarious intro to the world of Lil’ Kim. It’s very explicit and sexual and is a great listen for a laugh. You really have to hear it to experience the humour of it. It’s a great way to begin the album.

Big Momma Thang arrives. It’s a great piece from Lil’ Kim. It has a load of awesome groove-based sounds in it. It also delivers very well lyrically by Lil’ Kim and makes you want more. Class.

The next song is No Time. It’s about staying strong in a world of mediocrity. It has some nice stardust and piano sounds on it. It also has a good array of guest appearances, in a structured way of course. Very sexual and very explicit, once again.

After that, we have Spend A Little Doe which is a catchy piano-driven piece. It talks about selling one’s body for you-know-what. It’s a great number here for sure. Well worth listening to from this album.

Take It! is a skit about sex-based adventures. It would make a person who is very politically correct wince. It leads into the next piece.

Crush On You talks more sexual stuff. It’s an okay piece, but not as good as the cuts before it. Still listenable though.

Following up is Drugs. It’s a really good piece, in fact. The subject matter is self-explanatory. It’s a very good piece. “A different kind of high,” indeed. It’s a chilled out sort of vibe on this song.

The next piece Scheamin’ is a very short skit from the female perspective about sexual desire. It’s an interesting skit indeed.

Queen Bitch talks about gang based culture from Lil’ Kim. It’s a good listen, with some catchy sonic loops, including a piano riff. The lyrics exhibit much colourful language.

Dreams kicks off next. It has a very catchy guitar-based riff throughout. Lil’ Kim excels here. “Dreams of fucking in R & B”. It’s still highly sexual for a song here, which makes it sound out there. But hey, it’s very good.

The next piece is a very close-to-the-bone matter for Lil’ Kim. M.A.F.I.A. Land is about all that. It sounds very deep and meaningful for a rap artist. A good listen. One of the best cuts off the album. A prophetic song before she went to jail, perhaps?

Afterward, we arrive at We Don’t Need It. It’s a sexual story from both the male and female perspective. The chorus is a call-and-response piece from the males and females on this album. A nice effort.

Not Tonight has great electronic sounds at the beginning. It continues the theme of the album. It is super explicit, so ensure you have headphones when listening to this around people of a conservative nature. Excellent though.

Player Haters is another skit. It’s about jealousy, not a bad listen before the last song of the album.

The last piece is the profanity based Fuck You. It sounds discordant, which is a bit different compared to the rest of the album. A good way to conclude this album though.

This album showed the world of Lil’ Kim to the world. Although her output has slowed throughout the years, Lil’ Kim remains a popular celebrity today. A quality listen from Lil’ Kim is here.

7/10