Lil Kim vs. Foxy Brown
Comparisons can lead to competition. That's the simple way to describe the relationship between these two rap stars, who rose in tandem in 1997. Both hailing from Brooklyn, even attending the same high school for a time, each released solo debuts a week apart in November 1996, then appeared together on the cover of The Source in February 1997. It only made sense for the two to come together for a collaboration, and when it never materialized, something seemed amiss.
The origins of the feud have never been clear-cut. Kim Osorio, former editor-in-chief of The Source, told XXL one theory: "I remember hearing that one had borrowed the outfit from the other and that led to them not speaking."
In 1999, the feud made its way to music starting with the Lil Cease track "Play Around." Lil Kim was featured alongside Puff Daddy, whose line "Stop tryin' to sound like her too, bitches" was widely believed to be referencing Foxy Brown. Kim fired again on the title track of her sophomore album The Notorious K.I.M.: "This chick running around with this stink-ass gap/And them fake-ass raps having panic attacks/You ain't a star/And your record company know that." Foxy clapped back on Capone-N-Noreaga's "Bang Bang": 'You talk slick, fuck is all that sneak shit?/You and Diddy, y'all kill me with that subliminal shit, bitch."
In February 2001, real shots were fired outside of the Hot 97 station in New York between Capone-N-Norega's and Lil' Kim's entourage. Foxy Brown shortly thereafter spoke to MTV News about the incident and the feud at large, "I really don't know how it started. ... Let's just end it. We can even do a collaboration. We're bigger than this." But no such closure would come. In 2005, Lil Kim was sentenced to a year in prison for lying to protect some of her friends who were present at the shootout.
In 2013, Fabolous made the ambitious effort to help the two MCs bury the hatchet by reuniting during his set at Hot 97's Summer Jam, a la Jay-Z and Nas. The moment never happened. Foxy Brown appeared on MTV's RapFix Live to give her side, getting choked up while explaining: "[L]et's just say that it wasn't orchestrated properly ... I understand the epic-ness of those two huge ... the biggest female rappers in the game to come together and touch mics is phenomenal ... but somewhere along the way, some part of that has to feel real."