Lil' Kim (a.k.a. The Queen Bee; born Kimberly Denise Jones on July 11, 1975 in
Brooklyn, New York) is an African American rapper and actress. She is also
known for wearing outrageous revealing outfits to red carpet events, and
for her sexually explicit hit albums, most notably 1996's Hard Core.
Kim grew up with family problems and violent relationships. She started
battling in local clubs in New York City where she met Christopher
Wallace (The Notorious B.I.G.) who helped her with her career and with
whom she had an affair.
The 90s Success
Lil' Kim joined the group the Junior MAFIA under the name of "Big
Momma" in 1994. That same year, she appeared on The Notorious
B.I.G.'s album Ready To Die. Two years later, Lil' Kim released her
debut album Hard Core. The album debuted at No. 11 in The Billboard
200 Chart. Hard Core still remains Kim's best selling album to date. "No
Time", the album's first single, featured Puff Daddy and was a
Kim experienced tragedy in March of 1997 when The Notorious B.I.G.
was murdered. Despite this setback, Kim had success with the single "Not
Tonight", which also featured Missy Elliott, Da Brat, Angie Martinez,
and Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes, and was certified platinum. In
1998 Kim was on the Bad Boy Records No Way Out Tour, and over the next
two years she made guest appearances on albums such as Room 112 (by
112), Forever (by Puff Daddy) and Born Again (by The Notorious B.I.G.).
In 1999, she launched her own label, Queen Bee Records.
The 2000s Success
After a string of high-profile guest appearences on hits like Mobb
Deep's "Quiet Storm" remix, Kim returned to her solo career
with the release of her second album, Notorious K.I.M., in June of
2000. The album debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 Chart, making
it her highest debut to date. The album featured the hit singles "No
Matter What They Say" and the raunchy "How Many Licks?" which
featured Dru Hill lead singer Sisqó.
In April of 2001, Lil' Kim recieved mainstream exposure when she teamed
up with Pink, Mya, and Christina Aguilera in the remake of the song "Lady
Marmalade," The song was a hit and went to No. 1 on The Billboard
Hot 100 Chart for 5 weeks. The song also became a #1 hit in the UK.
The song went on to win several awards including two MTV Video Music
Awards a Grammy award for Best Pop Collaboration with vocals. The same
year, Kim made a guest appearance on Ray-J's hit single "Wait
2003 to present
In 2003, Kim released her third studio album, La Bella Mafia, in spring
of 2003. The first single and video, "The Jump Off" featured
rapper Mr. Cheeks, and was a sizeable hit. Kim also appeared in a
posthumous music video for Aaliyah, "Miss You", in which
Kim, Missy Elliott, Brandy, Tweet, DMX, Montel Williams, and several
others pay tribute to the deceased R&B star.
During the summer of 2003, "Magic Stick," the second single
from La Bella Mafia, became one of the year's biggest hits, thanks
in part to guest raps from 50 Cent. It is one of the few songs in recent
years to have hit number one without the aid of a music video, and
is Kim's most successful single to date.
In April 2004, she
was indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with her presence
at a shootout between members of her "entourage" and that
of rivals Capone-N-Noreaga. On March 17, 2005, she was convicted
of perjury and conspiracy, but acquitted of obstruction of justice
charges. On July 6 she was sentenced to a 366 days in prison and
fined $50,000 for this conviction.
Lil' Kim is set to release The Naked Truth on September 27, 2005,
a week after she goes to serve her one year-prison term. She recently
released the new single "Lighters Up" to US radio which currently
stands as the most added song in Urban charts and stands at a greatest
gainer 51 on The Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Charts.
She plans to shoot three videos while she's in L.A. for the 2005 Summer
Jam for a local popular hip hop station for the songs "Spellcheck", "Lighters
Up", and "Wishes and Demands f/Rain".
Atlantic Records plans to release the official tracklisting for The
Naked Truth at her official Hotel MTV Listening party in Miami on August
25, 2005 during the 2005 MTV video music awards weekend, currently
made the album's cut are "The Naked Truth(Heavenly Father Pt.2)", "So
Quiet featuring Nate Dogg", "Spellcheck", "Lighters
Up", "The Game's In Trouble", "Wishes & Demands
featuring Rain", "My N**gas", & "Swagger".
In 2006, Lil' Kim plans to release three compilation albums: a greatest
hits collection, a remix collection, and a collection of rare and unreleased
music featuring songs such as Peaches and Cocaine, She's A Freak, and
Duster [from Hard Core]; Diamonds, Bad Girl, Good Time [from Notorious
Kim], and What's The Word, Ms. White, and Knock Em Out The Box [from
La Bella Mafia]. Subsequently, she is the first female rapper to earn
the coveted five microphones from The Source magazine reviewers.
On her fame
In addition to being recognized for her music, Kim is notorious for her
avant garde style. In what is probably her most memorable public appearance,
Lil' Kim arrived at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards with an entire breast
exposed and only a tiny piece of fabric over the nipple. Kim's outfit
became even more controversial later that night, when she appeared on
stage with Mary J. Blige and Diana Ross to present an award, and Ms.
Ross reached over, cupped her hand under Kim's exposed breast and jiggled
it while both laughed heartily.