Kimberly Denise Jones, a.k.a. Lil Kim, is often credited as one of the most iconic rappers of all time after she single-handedly broke the glass ceiling for a new style of women in the hip-hop industry.
In season two of American Gangster: Trap Queens on BET+, Lil' Kim tells the stories of women who worked tirelessly to overcome their life's struggles — much like the star. Abandoned by her father at just 13 years old, Lil' Kim, 46, tells PEOPLE how she powered through a difficult childhood as well as mentally and physically abusive relationships to become the trailblazer she is today. The hitmaker also opens up about her longtime love and collaborator, the late Biggie Smalls, and tells PEOPLE the hilarious story behind the unforgettable lavender outfit she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards.
"A lot of these girls' stories are so similar to mine," she tells PEOPLE. "I wanted to come home and my dad was like, 'Oh no, you ran away? Stay your ass in the street.' I was doing some of those same things at a very young age. My life was that way anyway, so I was having fun, but it was dangerous."