“Wanna rumble with the bee huh? Bzzz, Throw a hex on yo whole family,” Lil Kim rapped on the 1997 popular single “All About The Benjamins (Remix)”  alongside Diddy (who then went by the name Puff Daddy), The Lox, and Notorious B.I.G.

That’s one example where the Brooklyn rapper asserted herself as the [Queen] Bee long before Beyoncé was known as “Queen Bey.” Kim also has a song titled “Tha Beehive” on her 2003 album La Bella Mafia.

However, Lil Kim recently declared that she’s okay with having her fanbase the “Bee Hive” while Beyoncé has her “Bey Hive.” During a recent interview, the “Found You” rapper explained where her fanbase the Bee Hive came from and why she has no qualms with sharing the namesake (although spelled differently) with Beyoncé.

“I had a group. I was the Bee Hive. That was my whole thing. My fans kind of adapted the name. It’s so funny because even back then my fans would run up and be like, ‘I’m the Bee Hive! I’m a part of the Bee Hive!’ They would be following me and they would all come to my concerts. And they would wear shirts with the bees on them and say they’re The Bee Hive,” Kim said.

“And then now you fast forward to years later and we’re in the social world and now my fans on the internet are The Bee Hive. And I feel like Beyoncé rightfully so, has the right to call herself Queen Bey as well because her name is Beyoncé,” Lil Kim said, placing in emphasis on the B.

Instagram post by Beyoncé * Nov 4, 2017 at 12:03am UTC

2.9m Likes, 38.1k Comments - Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Instagram

In 2017, Queen Bey took to Instagram to pay homage to Kim by dressing up as her in some of Kim’s most iconic looks.

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.

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