Lil’ Kim Explains In Detail What Led Up To Rich Homie Quan Forgetting Biggie’s Lyrics

On Monday night (July 11) Lil’ Kim was among those celebrated at the return of Hip-Hop Honors. For more than 20 years, the Brooklyn, New York representative has amassed a platinum solo career, along with acclaimed work with Junior M.A.F.I.A. The onetime protege of The Notorious B.I.G. would win Grammy awards and other accolades following his 1997 death.

While the live televised event was a night of honor and tribute, it was not without controversy. During Kim’s stage performance—a medley of her hits—guest Rich Homie Quan erroneously delivered and forgot many of Biggie Smalls’ lyrics for 1995 Junior M.A.F.I.A.  hit “Get Money.” The Atlanta, Georgia native subsequently released an apology to viewers and fans for his failings. Quan would also blame the mishap on teleprompters, in a separate interview.

Calling in to  Sway In The Morning today (July 15), Lil’ Kim addressed the performance with new information surrounding Quan’s appearance.

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Near the 6:00 mark of the audio, Kim recalled her immediate reaction Monday night. “I was like, ‘Oh God, what am I gonna tell Brooklyn?’ [Laughs]” She added, “I’m a professional, right? I’m not only a professional, I’m loyal to the culture. I’m loyal to the art. I’m loyal to my music. I’m loyal to my fans. And I’m loyal to that stage when I’m on that stage. So I’m definitely gonna hold the situation down no matter what. When it happened—yeah, it was a dagger to the heart and it was disappointing and all that, but I also knew what happened behind the scenes and how that actually could have happened.” Kim acknowledged the criticism she and the Cash Money Records affiliate received from media, especially on social channels. “There is nothing I can say to make people forgive or excuse what [Rich Homie Quan] did. [The Notorious B.I.G.] is everything. That record is a part of the culture, that is basically in the history books.” However, Lil’ Kim explained that there was a back-story to Quan’s appearance. “In his defense, [people must understand what happened].” She continued, “Really, me and [producers] worked out my list for weeks of everyone that I wanted [to be my guests]. I can honestly say, Vh1 was really good about making sure that I had everybody that I wanted and everybody that they suggested.” She elaborated, “‘Get Money’ was never in my set list. There were two other songs in my set list and I had two other, major artists that I was supposed to perform with…At the ninth hour, both of those artists pulled out.” Lil’ Kim refused to state who those artists were, but confirmed both were male. “If I had known that those two big, major artists weren’t gonna be able to make it [or whatever], then I would’ve known [and] called some other people earlier.” Kim said she learned of the first cancellation three days before the show, and the second the morning of. “I had to make an executive decision with my team as to what to do.” Kim added that in the void, she and her team reached out to artists including Future, Fetty Wap, and even Drake.

Once “Get Money” was added to the set, Lil’ Kim says she called upon the Maybach Music Group founder. “Rick Ross, he’s the person we wanted to do ‘Get Money.’ Then we started calling Nas.” Rick reportedly had scheduling conflicts. Kim said this is where her longtime friend and supporter from ATL entered the mix. “Rich Homie was on that list as a friend of mine, to maybe perform one of his songs.” Previously, Quan had appeared in Kim’s videos. When she called the artist, he agreed without hesitation to attend—but in a very different capacity. “There was no stutter-step, ‘I’m on the plane…[But] he was coming to support Lil’ Kim! He did not know that he was coming to perform ‘Get Money.’ He did not know that.”

Kim did confirm with Sway that she heard Rich Homie Quan spit Biggie’s verse, backstage. The two were not able to have a full rehearsal though. “In my mind, I’m like, ‘Everybody knows ‘Get Money.'”

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Also in the medley, fans accused Lil’ Kim of fumbling lyrics too, to her 1996 song “Queen B@#$h.” The MC explained, “I didn’t really forget. I had to…I couldn’t curse. Then I realized that I was cursing. A lot. [Laughing] Then I tried to pull back. With me pullin’ back, [I may have fumbled].” Due to the three-second delays of the live event, Kim said that the muting of the curses also made it appear that she fumbled the Hard Core single.

Elsewhere in the interview, Kim confirmed that she had reached out to Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man to fill the void too. Meth’ was unable to perform due to the death of his grandmother.

Near the 27:00 mark, Sway, Heather B, and Lil’ Kim joke about one misquoted lyric. Sway jokes that Quan’s mention of “Alamo” led some to believe it was a reference to Brand Nubian’s DJ. Asked if she wished to apologize, Lil’ Kim dished out some trademark dismissal, “Whoever don’t understand, fuck them; I don’t give a fuck!”

Earlier in the interview, Lil’ Kim spoke about her newfound friendship with onetime foe, Faith Evans. “It’s so funny, ’cause [Faith Evans] and I are so close now.” Evans was Biggie Smalls’ wife at a time when Kim was the superstar’s mistress, prompting several alleged confrontations. Now gearing up for Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy tour, the two music vets are in a new place. “She’s just been so supportive of me. I’ve been supportive of her. It’s just one big, happy family…It just goes to show that in life, we never know—somebody who you may see as your enemy may turn out to be your best friend.” Kim said there was never a sit-down between the once-tense parties. “When we saw each other the last few times, we just locked eyes. I guess God was just [showing himself].” The onetime Atlantic Records star attributes the peace to personal growth. “I think our actions spoke louder than our words.”

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Further, Lil’ Kim confirmed that she and Evans have a song in the works, centered around Biggie. “We’re doing a song together.” Reportedly, Faith invited Kim upon developing the concept. “She thought about me, and thought that song was about how I was feeling about [The Notorious B.I.G.] when he was alive, and our situation. It was a teary-eyed moment.”

Faith Evans is presently at work on a duets album with Notorious B.I.G. material. It is unclear if this song will be packaged in that album.

Click here to listen to the full audio of Lil Kim’s interview.