My initial introduction of Lil' Kim (from what I can remember) was through her single "Crush On You." I don't know a black girl in the 90s who did not watch that video and argue about which color wig/outfit was the best. I personally loved the red. And the green was a close second.
Though this lavish look was my introduction, Lil Kim's debut solo album titled "Hard Core" was released November 12, 1996. The album cover was enough to show that Kim stood in unapologetic confidence and unwavering determination.
As the sound of the piano cues the beat and Kim's commanding voice takes center stage, we are immediately pulled into a world where authenticity reigns supreme and superficiality is dismissed. We hear the infamous lyrics:
I got no time for fake ones
Just sip some Cristal with these real ones
From east to west coast spreadin' love n----
And while you n---- talk s--- we count bank figures
You do not have time for disingenuous relationships.
In the realm of hip-hop, where image often takes precedence over substance, Lil Kim's refusal to conform to stereotypes and her insistence on staying true to herself set her apart as a trailblazer. Through "No Time," she encourages listeners to embrace their individuality and to surround themselves with people who uplift and support them authentically, rather than those who seek to exploit or manipulate.
Stop entertaining these people sis. You are no longer in place to exert your energy or be in emotional labor over people who have not been ordained to take up space in your life.
You should prioritize the things that bring you wealth versus the negative language from others.
Amidst the swagger and bravado of "No Time," lies a deeper message about prioritizing one's own prosperity and self-worth above the negativity and detractors that may surround us. The ideology that the negative criticism from others happens in tandem to your success is powerful lesson. It eludes that both WILL and MUST happen simultaneously. The lyrics say "and WHILE you keep talking s---, I count bank figures." You cannot count your money and listen to someone else talk at the same time. And if you think you can, then watch your pockets come up short. Worry about yourself!
With age, come wisdom. And 28 years later, this song has morphed into not only a hit on my playlist but a manifesto for my expectations on authenticity and prosperity. Maybe it should become yours too.