The Big Momma finally released her long delayed mixtape, Black Friday, on Valentine’s Day. However, while lately most hip hop offer up mixtape projects as a free download (asking for an e-mail address at most), access to Lil Kim’s music comes at a premium of $9.99. Kim tweeted a link to her PayPal address, adding the incentive that the first 100,000 purchasers will receive autographed copies of the CD.
While charging for mixtapes isn’t unheard of, initial reports were that Black Friday was going to be offered for free. Kimmy Blanco’s moves have many feeling strongly.
“I think it is safe say to Lil Kim answered the question if Botox causes brain damage or not,” says Trent Clark, Managing Editor of The Smoking Section. “She's been out of jail for over five years and while she was busy keeping up with the Jones' mannequin, she failed to realize the game has changed. No one is going to (or should be willing to) pay for a tape featuring her taking shots at Nicki Minaj over beats that were around when people bought CD singles.”
However, to some Lil Kim directly soliciting her devoted followers with new product can be seen as a prudent gesture.
“Lil' Kim is catching a whole lot of flack for Black Friday,” says Kazeem Famuyide, Online Editor/Staff Writer at The Source Magazine. “I know it's a dated name, I know I haven't liked anything that has come out from her in almost seven years, but I don't think it’s THAT crazy as far as appealing to her hardcore fan base. You really can't tell anything to Kim stans. According to them, Lil' Kim is the messiah and they will support her through everything she's been through. If you tell her fans to pay 10 dollars for a mixtape through PayPal and she will autograph it, those fans will do it.”
But, Kim’s approach isn’t necessarily without flaws. Besides the mixtape’s cover—Lil Kim holding a sword with a pink haired, bodyless head in front of her, and Nicki Minaj’s decapitated doll image from her album cover in the background—all listeners have heard so far is “Pissin’ On Em.” On the song Lil Kim goes in over Minaj’s “Did It On ‘Em” instrumental. But is it what fans want to hear or buy?
“Lil Kim obviously hasn't been studying the modern day music consumer,” says Jozen Cummings, Digital Content Director of XXL Magazine. “It's not that we refuse to pay for music, we'd just much rather have an option to not do it. If you force any price tag on us without giving us a decent amount of free music to sample from, we're scoffing at that $9.99. Her charging her fans (who I might add are the only people who will probably buy the project) just further proves how out of touch she is with everything.”
For others, the Queen Bee is going about reasserting her spot in the rap game all wrong.
“Lil Kim really needs to fire the people around her,” says Karen Civil of KarenCivil.com. “She is beyond delusional, the choices she’s making to get her ‘comeback’ going isn't working. She needs to spend less time worrying about Nicki and more time finding a ghostwriter to get her hot again. She hasn’t released anything relevant or hot in the last few years, so the nerve of this chick to try and charge people $9.99 for her mixtape. If I wanted to buy a whole mixtape about Nicki Minaj I would just buy the Pink Friday LP again.”
Adds Famuyide, “She's pigeon-holed herself. Her main goal was to win over these Nicki Minaj fans and to remind people who ‘the real queen B was’ in her words. If Kim's tape is fire, even the biggest skeptic will give it a listen and admit that she's nice. But if youre going to ask people to pay money for music people are just begging to hate on, that's just too far! She's only going to keep her core fan base with this effort, and alas, never get back or even make a valiant effort to realistically take a shot at Nicki's current throne.”
At press time, visitors to Lil Kim’s Paypal account (Kimmy Blanco Inc.) were met with the message “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.”