Nicki Minaj has mostly been quiet on the music front lately. But for several reasons, the rap titan has remained in the spotlight. Over the weekend at designer Haider Ackermann's runway show for Paris Fashion Week, Minaj arrived wearing a one-sleeved black Mugler shirt. Though its oversized shoulder pad was noteworthy, what grabbed the most attention was the sleeveless side, which revealed her left breast (save for an Agent Provocateur nipple pasty). Daring as it may have been, it immediately recalled a move another female hip-hop icon pulled nearly two decades ago: Lil Kim.
The Brooklyn rhymer wore a mermaid-like purple Misa Hylton-Brim pantsuit with a pasty to the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, turning heads and even got a hilarious touch and bounce by legend Diana Ross on stage while they presented a moon man. At the beginning of her career, Minaj admitted that she was a fan of Kim's. However, since then their relationship has been contentious - essentially making it pretty hard for one to admit they appreciate the other in any way, shape or form. Still, there have been times where Minaj has pulled from Kim's sexuality-owning, doll-loving lookbook. Check some of them out here.
Lil Kim dropped 1st album at 17
Nicki Minaj dropped 1st mixtape at 26 pic.twitter.com/4NxqerlYBW- Kimmy Blanco (@LilKimRoyal) May 27, 2016
Back when Nicki was trying to become one of the greats, part of her strategy (aside from rapping circles around anyone in her way) was to liken herself to the best. And this 2007-era promo image - Nicki in an open hoodie, bra exposed, panties, slip on high heels while suggestively licking a lollipop - is without a doubt based on the Lil Kim look to its left.
Long weaves with dramatic, thick bangs and an attitude that said "What?!" before the wearer's voice did were a staple for a time in New York. Lil Kim helped popularized the look. Who knows whether Nicki rocked the weave because she idolized Kim or if she did it because all of her buddies around the way had them. What's for sure, though, is that they look alike.
Long before Nicki Minaj was referring to her fans and followers as Barbz, Lil Kim was likening herself to the most iconic doll ever and calling herself a "Black Barbie" is her 2003 single "The Jump Off." And in her 2000 single "How Many Licks," she posed as a doll and sex toy for a clientele of men in its video. In 2010, Nicki released her debut album, Pink Friday. On its cover, Minaj acts as a Barbie with stretched limbs and a pink weave.