Lil Kim was one of the many Hip Hop legends who took the stage at the 2022 BET Awards on Sunday night (June 26) to honor Bad Boy Records founder Diddy. The 52-year-old mogul was this year’s recipient of the BET Lifetime Achievement Award and treated to a career-spanning tribute that included performances from Faith Evans, Shyne and Jodeci.
But of course, Lil Kim instantly became a Twitter target for her body and the clothes she was wearing. Stepping out in sheer tights, cut blazer, high heeled boots, green, slicked back hair and aviator shades, Kim rocked the BET Awards stage — or at least tried. The 47-year-old rapper seemed to stumble over her “It’s All About The Benjamins” verse and experience some technical difficulties during her time in the spotlight. Still, people couldn’t stop ridiculing Kim for her thighs, with some comparing her to a rotisserie chicken.
lil' kim performing at the bet awards, 2022 pic.twitter.com/T5cwdTmuQ5
— best of lil' kim (@lilkimfiles) June 27, 2022
What some people don’t realize is Lil Kim first underwent plastic surgery in 2004 after an ex-boyfriend beat her so badly she could’ve died. In a 2005 interview, Kim opened up about the abuse she suffered, saying at the time, “I just got out of a relationship with a very abusive man. I have had a black eye, bloody lips, bruised nose.
“I came out of the hospital from getting my nose done and he broke my shit again. I have had to have MRI’s because he beat me up so bad I couldn’t even move. I had blood clots I my back. One day, a voice told me you better leave right now. I had to leave from my own damn house.”
I remember when I first found out that Lil Kim's initial plastic surgery was for corrective reasons because of abuse. I stopped talking shit about her looks then.
Cuz that fucks w/some worse than others & I costs me nothing to be quiet.
— Sometimes I'm moody, heaux ? (@jTwiced) June 27, 2022
Lil Kim later talked about the pain she endured during a 2005 interview with Angie Martinez and explained she wasn’t in an abusive relationship because of low self-esteem; she simply fell victim to thinking she could change him. She also admitted, “I was a little vain at the time, trying to perfect. I’m a perfectionist.”
Despite Lil Kim’s tumultuous path, people often forget to have compassion and empathy for a woman who’s experienced so much — even some of her peers. In June 2021, 50 Cent compared Lil Kim to an owl following her last BET Awards performance.
Just months later, he posted an Instagram clip of Lil Kim comparing his “Magic Stick” collaborator’s wobbling dance to Lubdan, the troll-looking character from the 1993 comedy horror film Leprechaun. He wrote, “I’m sorry i know it’s early but i don’t know why shit like this is funny to me LOL.”
But Kim being Kim, she returned with a few jabs of her own. Shortly after 50 Cent posted the owl meme, she replied, “The accuracy, hilarious. I ain’t bothered not one bit. My family & friends more mad than me. Shit like this don’t move me one way or another cause I’m still a bad bitch that n-ggaz bitches, mommies, daughters, and aunties still want to be till this day and I love it!!”
She added, “@50cent I see u still in ur feels about that dinner date u asked me on that I had to turn down. Let it go u have a beautiful girlfriend, I have a loving husband. Let it go. And for those of u coming at my husband, Mr. Papers, he did real n-gga shit. What a husband is suppose to do. All y’all can go to hell. Not Respectfully.”