The colorful looks of Lil Kim have gone down in Hip Hop history, but not many are as iconic as her lavender, breast-revealing MTV VMA look back in 1999. The New York rapper stole the show when she walked the red carpet and graced the stage in an outfit that bared one breast that only featured a matching nipple covering, and in a recent interview with PEOPLE, Kim revealed that it was inspired by a tease from her friend Missy Elliott.
Back in the day, Lil Kim was apparently known for her regular nip slips. “My nipples used to pop out so much on their own,” she said with a laugh. “They said something in a movie and made it look like it was planned — it was never planned. The girls used to laugh at me and Missy said, ‘Girl, your nipples pop out so much. One day, you need to just come outside with one nipple out.'”
It was a joke, but Kim’s stylist at the time, Diddy’s ex and mother of his son Justin, Misa Hylton, thought it was a good idea for a look. On the day of the VMAs, Kim wasn’t supposed to wear a matching lavender wig, either—it was a mistake by the hairstylist that they decided to roll with at the last minute.
“She was so stressed because we were literally 45 or 30 minutes away from showtime,” Lil’ Kim added. “She was like, ‘Misa, oh my God. I have to redo the hair, the whole wig is lavender.’ Misa was like, ‘Did you say lavender? Kim’s outfit is lavender. ‘It’s perfect!’ And I’m always with the sh*t. I was like, ‘Let’s do it! Put it on me.’ I’m always excited to see what I’ll look like in different colors.” Check out more of Kim’s iconic look below.