Lil Kim has long been a voice of female power. Indeed, she provided the soundtrack to money, power, and respect that a generation was groomed on.
Naturally, the Hip Hop legend was a prime choice to lend her voice to BET+’s American Gangster: Trap Queens, an anthology documentary series that explores the highs and lows of women’s experiences running and aiding in crime empires. For Kim, these stories are a natural progression in the franchise.
“It’s a woman’s world right now. We’ve been taking over, respectfully,” she said. “You’d be so shocked to find out how strong these women are, and how they’ve been doing things just like the men have been doing. Women, their stories are very complex, but also intense, and amazing, and captivating.”
Lending her voice to these captivating tales was a no-brainer for Kim. As season three kicked off on April 7, the stories featuring Queenpins and masterminds have raised the bar on the depth of storytelling, but also hit home a bit for the rap pioneer.
“I think every season, all the stories are very interesting, and all the stories are very amazing in their own right,” she said. “I identify with every last one of them.”
“One of my best friends is actually on here, and I don’t want to get too much
into it, but it was a very touching situation,” Kim continued, touching on the plight of her good friend Sadia. “I knew a lot of the story already, so narrating it, it was very emotional for me.”
Yet, Kim is clear that the show, while captivating, does not glorify the criminal acts and lifestyles it profiles. More than anything, it’s a frank examination and cautionary tale.
“I think the best way to say it is, this is the rise and the fall, and the rise again. It’s a rebirth, it’s restoration for these females,” she said, noting that not all of the women profiled have necessarily taken the life lessons for what they are. “Some of them…there’s one episode, I’m not too sure if the woman is very remorseful. I wouldn’t say she had a rise again. I feel like she’s still going through, and that’s spiritual warfare that I wouldn’t get into.”
“People have to take accountability. People have to decide how they want to be in life, that’s just it. Because guess what? We’re still going to make bad decisions in life, that’s just how it goes. But, if you know better, you do better, and that’s just how it is.”
Now in her third run of narrating these Trap Queens‘ stories, Kim has a vision for the series’ base to go even bigger – beyond just American Gangsters.
“I would like to see Trap Queens go broader because you’d be surprised at what we would find if we went overseas, or what we would find if we go to certain places that we haven’t visited yet,” she observed.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this project. I feel like it’s family-oriented behind the scenes and in production. I’m really proud of the work that BET has done.”
“They’ve been doing a really good job. The way everything is shot, the way
everything is put together. I’m really proud of this project.”