Hip-hop veteran Lil’ Kim, whose debut album “Hard Core” was released 21 years ago this fall, has released a new single entitled “Took Us a Break.” It will take some time for longtime listeners to get acclimated to her new, more modern sound. Her voice, bass heavy and drenched in auto-tune, makes her vocals nearly unrecognizable.

“Took Us a Break” takes on the new style of hip-hop recordings that aligns with the formula of Migos and pop trap. This style isn’t a bad thing. Lil’ Kim knows how to reinvent herself. She will surely be connected with hip-hop’s younger audiences and will most definitely be accepted. She keeps her lyrics concise and to the point. “Ain’t nothing more important than this money,” she raps, but her bars are of an experienced rap mogul and a leader in her own right. She’s confident and looks fresh and revitalized. The song was released by her entertainment company, Queen Bee Entertainment, and was produced by DJ Khaled producer, Bkorn.

Bkorn told istandardproducers.com on Nov. 6, “I think the track is crazy. Exactly what Kim needed to come with. People want to hear hard beats with hard bars, and that’s exactly what she came with. She holds her ground on the new sound, 100 percent … Aside from ‘Took Us a Break,’ I produced another track on Lil’ Kim’s upcoming album. It’s a fire joint, something I think people will really enjoy and be surprised with.”

Besides her producer’s recent interview, there were only whispers and social media posts about the release of a new album from Lil’ Kim earlier this year. Now we may be seeing the fruition of what seems to be the first single. An album title or release date has not been officially announced. “Took Us a Break” follows the 2016 mixtape, “Lil’ Kim Season” and her 2005 studio full-length album, “The Naked Truth.” Her return with a fresh radio sound might be a sign that Lil’ Kim is finally on her way to releasing a new mainstream hip-hop record after sculpting her sound

with mixtapes over the years.

It’s always OK to take a break, recalibrate and reinvent. Kim deserves accolades as a pioneer who opened doors for hip-hop artists such as Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. to express themselves on a hip-hop world stage. She created a hypersexual persona that didn’t come off as a victimization, but a stature of confidence. Kim talks often about her personal battle with her looks and body, but that doesn’t belittle her innovation of costumes, wigs and vocal style.

It’s been reported that she’s teamed up with Remy Ma on a new song called “Wake Me Up” after TMZ leaked photos from a music video shoot of the two rappers performing together. There’s no official release date on this upcoming duet.