Lil Kim and her recent cover for Ebony Magazine has stirred up controversy among fans who accuse the magazine of heavy photoshopping. However, the photographer behind the shoot has clarified that these edits were carried out with the rapper’s approval.
On Monday, September 18, Ebony Magazine unveiled multiple covers for their Hip Hop 50 issue, featuring iconic artists like Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beatz, Rick Ross, and 50 Cent. Yet, it was Lil Kim’s cover that attracted significant scrutiny due to what appeared to be extensive airbrushing.
Critics took to social media to voice their displeasure, with one person commenting:
“Whoever did the editing need to be fired.”Another commentator stated:
“As a publication, you should know what’s unacceptable. this cover is not it and doesn’t represent Kim or the magazine well.”
In response to the backlash, Ebony’s photography director, Keith Major, addressed the criticism in an Instagram comment. He revealed, “Man, she wanted to be in control of the retouching, so this is what we got,” as reported by Page Six.
Lil Kim is no stranger to scrutiny throughout her illustrious career. She has experienced various phases and transformations, and she’s set to recount her journey in her upcoming memoir, titled “The Queen Bee.”
In late July, Lil Kim shared a photo of the manuscript for her memoir and announced that it had been submitted to the publisher. She expressed her gratitude to her close friend, fashion designer Marc Jacobs, for writing the foreword.
According to a press release from Hachette Books, the publisher, “The Queen Bee” is scheduled for release in September 2025. Co-authored by renowned music journalist Kathy Iandoli, the memoir will delve into Lil Kim’s complex high-profile relationships, her efforts to challenge the misogynistic music industry through sex positivity, the double standards of self-image and beauty in the spotlight, and a pivotal act of loyalty that led to her incarceration.
UPDATE: Lil Kim has actually responded after social media users started to chime in on this overly retouched photo featured on EBONY magazine. She and her team claims they originally hand-picked which photo edit they wanted for the cover, but apparently, EBONY’s team had a different agenda. The photographer, Keith Major who was initially assigned for the shoot has since been fired by the publication. Kim took to her stories to address the confusion and cleared the air about what happened.
“Who is this?! Cuz that’s not the photo I approved or any other content they’ve put out. I always told Ebony it looked like a painting but they didn’t wanna listen. They said they loved it. It’s the sabotage for me. The funny s**t about this, is that this is THEIR retoucher!”
Kim’s supporters quickly jumped in the comments section to defend her as well as some of her friends and peers including her baby dad, Mr. Papers.
“She’s beautiful 😍🤩💎”
“Edit Or No Edit She Bad 😍🤩”