In the beginning of their careers, it seemed like the two would be able to get along. They both agreed to do a collaboration with Total, also featuring Da Brat, and the video is similar to the bank robbing females in the movie Set It Off. It reminds me of that movie, showing the unity of black females and their rebellion against society.
Total feat. Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, and Da Brat- “No One Else (Remix)”
It would appear that Foxy Brown and Lil Kim are on the same team, but the truth is far from that.
Foxy Brown and Lil Kim have had an ongoing rivalry since the late 90’s. Quite frankly, I doubt that most people remember the exact time that the beef began or who is responsible for initiating the verbal attacks. The only memorable thing is that the rivalry has gone on for years. As a matter of fact, the battle has lasted and persisted for the majority of both of their careers.
The rivalry between the two MCs may have started with the artists but was definitely fueled by the media. It began because the two women have approached rap in a similar manner and there can only be one to wear the BEST title. Both have similar backgrounds, growing up in Brooklyn, New York and the two twist the male domination of rap to fit a female artist.Their images are explicit, appealing to the male gazer because it is overtly sexual and nearly pornographic, but their lyrics can be seen as female empowering. They spit about the same things that men rap (money, sex, and power) but the female has control and reversely exploits the man. Each artist uses her own voice and body to go against the previously established roles of women in rap.
In 2001, Foxy Brown approached Russell Simmons, the chairman of her label Def Jam/ Def Soul, about ending the prolonged feud. Foxy said, “Russell, I want to call a truce. I want to have a sit-down with Kim. I don’t care what it is. Let’s just end it. We can even do a collaboration. We’re bigger than this. If it has to start with me, let it start with me.” Unfortunately, Lil Kim was not as open to this settlement and her unit did not respond to the calls made by Foxy.
This change of heart may have been triggered by the deaths of two of rap’s greatest legends, Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. Their deaths showed the world that the beef in rap can lead to worse things than hate; it has the capability to cause feelings that inspire killings and death. Life is too precious to throw away for nonsense and Foxy must have realized this when she decided to reach out to Kim. There is no need for the beef to escalate into something further. It is one thing to for the two to dislike each other, but when their lives are jeopardized because of the beef, someone has to be the bigger person and put a stop to it.
The two rappers have been having recent trouble with the law and have not released much music. I would argue that the beef has simmered down a great deal and other beefs have arisen among female rappers. But to date, the beef between Foxy Brown and Lil Kim is the most notorious among female rappers.
The reason why their beef is so unforgettable is because of the nature of their attacks. Never before were female artists so similar in their personas. Both women stepped onto the rap scene at around the same time and had similar views of female empowerment that reverses the male domination and places a woman at the center of sexual satisfaction. They are just two black women trying to make a distinctive name for themselves.