Lil' Kim is the ultimate representation that royalty reigns supreme in hip-hop. The Queen Bee has been a leader in the game for three decades. From classic albums like Hard Core to inspiring many of the women rapping today, the multiplatinum-selling MC continues to get the respect she deserves. In celebration of the 50-year anniversary of hip-hop this summer, Lil' Kim graces XXL's Legends cover, a digital series celebrating some of the most impactful artists in hip-hop’s history.

During the conversation in April at a photo studio in lower Manhattan, Kim opened up about her impact and influence in hip-hop since she started to rap at 16 years old. With The Notorious B.I.G. and Diddy in her corner at the time, the Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn native took the knowledge she learned from some of rap's greatest artists and applied it to her own successful career.

"Everyone calls me an icon, and it’s an honor to me," she shares in her XXL interview. "It makes me smile. It makes me happy to know that people look at me that way because I never really saw that for myself, but it just happened organically, and this is my place in hip-hop."

Watch Lil' Kim discuss her career highlights and read her XXL digital cover story below.

Watch Lil' Kim Look Back on Her Illustrious Career in Her XXL Interview

lil kim xxl magazine
Ahmed Klink for XXL

See Lil' Kim Photos for XXL's Legends Cover