In 1996, Lil’ Kim was the standout member of the Notorious B.I.G.’s Junior M.A.F.I.A. crew. The Big Momma had stolen the show on their lead single “Player’s Anthem,” from the collective’s album Conspiracy, and was again the main draw on their third single, “Get Money.” Rapping alongside B.I.G. himself, the Queen Bee held her own and previewed the extravagant lifestyle that would play out in the video.
The Notorious B.I.G. died an untimely death on March 9, 1997, the year after the video’s release, but it remains a part of his and the Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s musical legacy. When Lil’ Kim visited “RapFix Live” last week, she spoke to MTV News about the memorable clip, walking us through it frame by frame.
Directed by Lance “Un” Rivera, the clip echoed some of the real-life legal drama Big was wrestling with at the time. In the opening scene, set in a courtroom, Big sits at the defense table, seemingly oblivious to what the lawyers and judge are discussing.
“I remember when we really had to go to court for him, for a situation that Biggie had, and we really had to sit in court with him,” Kim told us. “I remember him falling asleep in front of the judge. And he was literally snoring in front of the judge. And the judge looked at his lawyer and was like, ‘Excuse me, can you wake your client up?!’ ”
In ’96, Big was in and out of court on drug and gun possession charges.
The East Coast vs. West Coast hip-hop feud was in full swing by this time as well, though Big did his best not to stoke the flames. In the “Get Money” video, he pokes fun at his personal turmoil instead. The woman in the blonde wig in the clip looks suspiciously like Biggie’s then-wife, R&B singer Faith Evans (fans know that Faith and Kim have never been on the best of terms). The actress portraying the faux Faith was the (still-married) rapper’s girlfriend at the time, Charli Baltimore.
The video was shot at a New York City club and in a large home that Kim revealed was once owned by actor Wesley Snipes. Cameos in the video include DJ Clark Kent, Salt-N-Pepa, Mary J. Blige and even adult-film star Vanessa del Rio, who is seen thoroughly enjoying a massage and being fed fruit by buff men.
“A lot of people don’t know who she was [but] she’s a famous porn star from back in the days and she was mad cool,” Kim said.
Kim threw in one last factoid about the late, great Brooklyn rapper that fans might not have known. At the end of the “Get Money” clip, she’s seen driving off in a shiny red car that’s decorated with a bow. “People don’t know, at the end of this video Big was supposed to have brought me that car, that was my gift,” Kim laughed. “So, ya know, I came off at the end.”
What’s your favorite Notorious B.I.G. video? Share with us in the comments!