According to the venue’s official website, Lil’ Kim is filling in for Ludacris, the main support for Jackson’s tour.
By ANTWANE FOLK
Lil’ Kim is set to join as a special guest on Janet Jackson’s headlining Together Again Tour. The rap icon will support the North American trek at PPL Center on May 18 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
According to the venue’s official website, Lil’ Kim is filling in for Ludacris, the main support for Jackson’s tour. The show is scheduled to start at 7:45 p.m.
Lil’ Kim and Jackson have supported each other through the years. The two were supposed to join Missy Elliott on a new version of “Pussycat” from Elliott’s 2002 album, Under Construction. However, the collaboration was never released.
Two years earlier, Lil’ Kim referenced Janet (and Michael Jackson) in her song “I’m Human” from 2000’s Notorious K.I.M. (“You f**king clones, leave us alone! / Me and Puff is like Janet and Mike / You make us wanna scream, know what I mean?”)
She also compared herself to Janet on her 2005 hit single “Lighters Up” from The Naked Truth album. (“I’m the hottest bitch on the planet / Biggest sex symbol, since Janet.”)
In 2017, Jackson mashed up Lil’ Kim’s classic “Crush on You” during her State of the World Tour, and they spent time together when Jackson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019 and on her Las Vegas Metamorphosis residency that same year.
Circling back to this PPL Center tour stop, it’s one of five new dates Jackson added to her Together Again Tour itinerary. She will now perform back-to-back shows, May 9 and May 10, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Jackson’s other new concert date includes June 14 at Yaamava’s Theater in Highland, California.
She first announced her Together Again Tour in late 2022. The Live Nation-backed tour, titled after Jackson’s No. 1 hit “Together Again,” started on April 14 in Hollywood, Florida.
“Together Again” is lifted from Jackson’s sixth album, The Velvet Rope, released in October 1997.
She celebrated its 25th anniversary last fall with a special deluxe edition that included ten bonus tracks, some alternate remixes and club mixes of select tracks.
Jackson’s last album, Unbreakable, was released in 2015. She has since teased its follow-up, Black Diamond. She explained the concept behind the term ‘black diamond’ in an Instagram post in 2020.
“Black Diamonds are the toughest of all the diamonds, the hardest to cut. I see that as the hardest to hurt or destroy,” Jackson wrote.
“There’s is a lot that I have endured. I see myself as a Black Diamond in its purest form. I’m a rock, I have ruff edges but I keep moving forward. I want to show you my strength as well as give you strength.”
In a recent Rated R&B interview with producer Harmony Samuels, he confirmed his back in the studio with Jackson working on new music.
“Working with Janet Jackson right now. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve experienced just ’cause she’s so elegant and such a sweetheart,” Samuels exclusively told Rated R&B. “[Sometimes] when you meet people on and off stage, they’re two different people. She’s just as sweet offstage as she is onstage. A beautiful-hearted person.”
Samuels previously worked with Jackson on her last single, “Made For Now,” featuring Daddy Yankee, in 2018. There was a mini project to follow, but it has yet to materialize.
“I worked on most of the E.P. Each song has a different feel. Each song has a different style. She bodies it! She does her thing,” Samuels told Rated R&B of a mysterious project in a 2018 interview.
In other-related Jackson news, she is returning to Lifetime and A&E Networks for Janet Jackson: Family First, a sequel to her self-titled 2022 documentary.
The film will follow Jackson preparing for and on the road during her Together Again Tour.
Janet Jackson: Family First has yet to be given an official release date.
Jackson aside, Lil’ Kim was mentioned in Rated R&B’s 10th-anniversary revisit of Fantasia’s Side Effects of You. The Queen Bee was on Fantasia’s wish list of collaborators for the album, but unfortunately, it did not work out.
Samuels said, “We thought about Kim on a bunch of records. We even thought about Kim on [‘Without Me’] with Missy. Politics, schedules, finances, everything plays a part in where that went. We didn’t find the song that worked out for her. I would’ve loved to hear Kim on the Big K.R.I.T. record [‘Supernatural Love’] ’cause that’s so New York. But that’s one thing [Fantasia] wanted to achieve, and I think she got close to it.”
Janet Jackson’s Together Again Tour 2023 Dates
May 2 – Kansas City, MO @ T-Mobile Center
May 4 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
May 6 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
May 9 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
May 10 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden **
May 12 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
May 13 – Baltimore, MD @ CFG Bank Arena
May 14 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
May 18 – Allentown, PA @ PPL Center **
May 19 – Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center
May 20 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
May 23 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
May 24 – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena
May 26 – Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Music Center
May 27 – Tinley Park, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Chicago
May 28 – Milwaukee, WI @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater
May 30 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
Jun 2 – Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion
Jun 3 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Jun 4 – Austin, TX @ Moody Center
Jun 7 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
Jun 9 – Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheatre
Jun 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl*
Jun 11 – San Diego, CA @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
Jun 14 – Highland, CA @ Yaamava’ Theater **
Jun 16 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
Jun 20 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center
Jun 21 – Seattle, WA @ Climate Pledge Arena
Get more information on Janet Jackson’s website.