Lil’ Kim has never been shy about expressing her sexuality; it’s hard to imagine anyone outside of the porn industry who has made their genitalia so central to their career. So you’d never expect she’d be a tease. But at the House of Blues Sunday night, the New York rapper left the sellout aud feeling cheated, kept at arm’s length as she rushed through a brief, uninspired set. She may have pulled her track suit off to reveal a black bra and panties (embossed with Christian and Dior, respectively) and leaned over the outstretched hands of her fans, but her nervously beefy security detail made sure no one got close enough to lay a hand on her.
Clocking in at barely a half-hour, the set was padded by business including Kim preening for the aud’s screams, half-hearted renditions of current chart hits (including 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”), and tributes to dead rappers, culminating in the inevitable eulogy for the Notorious B.I.G. She paid scant attention to her own material, sleepwalking though truncated versions of earlier hits including “Get Money,” and barely acknowledged her most recent Atlantic release “La Bella Mafia,” performing “Shake Ya Bum Bum” and a limp “Magic Stick.” The former tune found Kim accompanied by a gaggle of writhing women pulled from the aud, which for a brief moment turned the stage into a PG version of “Girls Gone Wild.” They were also responsible for the evening’s most amusing moment, as the already skittish security detail lamely attempted to corral the gyrating intoxicated women away from the star, who seemed more than a little piqued when they overstayed their welcome.