Who is Kimberly Denise Jones? The entertainment world knows Lil Kim as an American rapper and actress who was a member of the group Junior M.A.F.I.A.
Jones was born and raised in Brooklyn, living much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from home. As a teenager, Kim would rap for fun, being heavily influenced by other female MC'S like MC Lyte and Lady of Rage. When word got to The Notorious B.I.G. that she could rhyme, he made the pint sized femcee spit a freestyle for him on the spot. Impressed with her, he took her in and she began her music career in 1995 with the group Junior M.A.F.I.A., whose debut album Conspiracy generated three hit singles. In late 1996, her solo debut album Hard Core was released. Hard Core was certified double platinum and spawned three consecutive #1 rap hits that included: "No Time" "Not Tonight (Ladies Night remix)" and "Crush on You", a record for a female rapper. Her following albums, The Notorious K.I.M. (2000) and La Bella Mafia
Early lifeJones was born July 11, 1974 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of the New York City borough Brooklyn to parents Linwood Jones and Ruby Mae. At the age of 9, her parents separated, and her father raised her until he expelled her from home when she was a teenager. Thus, she lived with her friends and even on the streets. While struggling through her personal life, Kim met The Notorious B.I.G., who was a key figure in both her personal and artistic life, particularly when Wallace had gained popularity and influence through his relationship with Bad Boy Records.
Early career with Junior M.A.F.I.A.In 1994, B.I.G. was instrumental in introducing and promoting the Brooklyn based group, Junior M.A.F.I.A., which included Lil' Kim. The group's first and only album was titled Conspiracy. Three hit singles came from Conspiracy: "Player's Anthem" (peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and #2 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart), "I Need You Tonight" (#43 R&B, #12 Rap), and "Get Money" (#17 on the Billboard Hot 100, #4 R&B, #2 Rap). The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified Conspiracy Gold on December 6, 1995, marking sales of 500,000 units. "Player's Anthem" was Gold, and "Get Money" went Platinum (sales of a million units).
Hard Core (1996)After a year with Junior M.A.F.I.A., Jones began a solo career by making guest performances on R&;B albums and recording her debut album, Hard Core, which was released in November 1996. The album peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Hard Core was RIAA-certified double platinum on March 14, 2001 after having been certified Gold on January 6, 1997 and Platinum on June 3, 1997. The album's lead single "No Time", a duet with Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs (who would later change his stage name to "P. Diddy" and then "Diddy"), reached the top spot of the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The following single, "Crush on You", reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the rap chart. A remix of the album's track "Not Tonight" saw Lil' Kim team up with Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat and Left Eye of TLC. The song was part of the soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence movie Nothing To Lose, nominated for a Grammy Award, and certified Platinum. In one stockholders' meeting of Warner Bros. Records, activist C. Delores Tucker criticized the label "for producing this filth," referring to perceived graphic sexual content in Kim's lyrics, and labeling them "gangsta porno rap".
The Notorious K.I.M. (2000-2002)From 1998 to 2000, Kim continued her road to stardom under the management of B.I.G.'s best friend, Damion "D-Roc" Butler's "Roc Management", touring and modeling for various fashion and pop culture companies including Candies, Versace, Iceberg, and Baby Phat. In 1998, she performed in P. Diddy's "No Way Out" tour. In the same year, she launched her own label Queen Bee Entertainment and even though she had not had an album of her own released, she was seen on dozens of remixes and guest appearances on other artist's records. On June 27, 2000, Kim released her second album The Notorious K.I.M. The album marked a new image and revamped look for the rapper. Despite the limited success of its singles, the album reached #4 on the Billboard 200, and #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It was certified platinum by the RIAA. It was on this LP that the well-known hip-hop feud between Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown blossmed.
In 2001, Lil' Kim teamed up with Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Mýa to remake "Lady Marmalade", which was originally written about a bordello in New Orleans and performed by the group Labelle (which included diva Patti LaBelle) 25 years earlier. The song was recorded for the Moulin Rouge! film soundtrack, released in April 2001, and stayed #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. The song also went to #1 in 50 countries around the world. This was a big accomplishment for female rap, as well as for Kim, who scored her first #1 Hot 100 hit and became the first female rapper in history to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. "Lady Marmalade" also garnered Kim her first Grammy Award.
In the Air Tonite", a remix of the Phil Collins song "In the Air Tonight" and duet with Collins, was released as a single from the Collins tribute album Urban Renewal. "Kimnotyze" is the lead single of record producer DJ Tomekk's compilation album Beat Of Life, Vol 1. It was released in Switzerland, Austria and Germany only. The song was successful, becoming Lil' Kim's third consecutive Top 10 hit in Germany after her number 1 hit "Lady Marmalade".
La Bella Mafia (2003)In 2003, Lil' Kim recorded a new entrance theme for then World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Women's Champion Trish Stratus entitled, "Time to Rock 'n Roll", which was used during broadcasts, until Stratus' retirement. The single was released on WWE Anthology, a compilation of entrance theme music to various professional wrestling superstars.
On March 4, 2003, Kim released her third critically acclaimed album, La Bella Mafia. Highly rated (4.5 mics) by music magazine The Source, La Bella Mafia spawned the hit "The Jump Off" featuring Mr. Cheeks, which climbed to number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single "Magic Stick", feat. 50 Cent, hit #2 on the Hot 100 without a video ever being shot.
La Bella Mafia debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200. Kim was nominated for five Source Awards and won two ("Female Hip-Hop Artist of the Year", and "Female Single of the Year"). This album also got two Grammy Award nominations: Best Female Rap Solo Performance ("Came Back For You") and Best Rap Collaboration ("Magic Stick"). She was also nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with singer Christina Aguilera for the song "Can't Hold Us Down", from Aguilera's album Stripped.
Greg Thomas, an English professor at Syracuse University, began teaching "Hip-Hop Eshu: Queen B@#$H Lyricism 101". Kim herself was a guest speaker at the school. Professor Thomas considered Kim's lyrics "the art with the most profound sexual politics I've ever seen anywhere." David Horowitz criticized the course as "academic degeneracy and decline". Lil' Kim also made an appearance on the multi-platform videogame Def Jam: Fight for NY. Kim provided voice-overs for her part in the storyline, where the player may fight an opponent to have Lil' Kim as his girlfriend.
The Naked Truth (2005-2008)
Kim released a fourth album, The Naked Truth, on September 27, 2005, while serving a federal prison sentence (see below). It earned her a 5 mic rating from The Source, making her the only female rapper to ever receive a 5 mic rating. The album debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200 charts, giving Kim her Third Top 10 debut on the charts. The Naked Truth did not sell as well as her previous works, selling less than 400,000 copies. Kim has said that her prison sentence left her with no time to promote the project. There have been many rumors about a re-release of Truth but to no avail.The music video for The Naked Truth's first single, "Lighters Up" was number one on BET's 106 &Park for two weeks. "Lighters Up", was a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot R&;B/Hip-Hop Singles &; Tracks chart. The single also reached #76 on the German Single Chart, #12 on the UK Top 75 and #4 on the Finland Single Chart. The second single, "Whoa" was released on February 17, 2006. It reached No. 22 on Airplay. The Dance Remixes extended play was also released in 2005. Kim also made appearances on the show Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For The Next Doll and Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious in 2007 and 2008. Ms. G.O.A.T., an acronym for "Greatest Of All Time", is the debut mixtape by Lil' Kim. It was officially released on June 3, 2008 and was produced by Mister Cee and DJ Whoo Kid, DJ's from New York City. Among critics, the album has received generally positive reviews. It has been called a representation of Lil' Kim's return to the streets. Tito Salinas of All Hip Hop says "Lil’ Kim shows that her time behind bars did not rust all of her swag away" on Ms. G.O.A.T. On the other hand, Ehren Gresehover of New York Mag says that although one of the tracks "The Miseducation of Lil' Kim" is not bad, he wished that it was Lauryn Hill who was making a comeback instead.
TBA Fifth Studio album (2009-present)On March 10, 2009, the song "Girls" by the Korean singer, Se7en featuring Lil' Kim was released through digital stores for his U.S. debut single. Kim appeared in the music video that was released on the same day. "Girls" was produced by Darkchild. On March 24, 2009, Kim released the song "Download" featuring R&B singers T-Pain and Charlie Wilson. It was written by Lil Kim and T-Pain and produced by Trackmasters. The song samples "Computer Love" by Zapp. Peaking at number 21 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It eventually made it to the top 10 US Urban Radio airplay and climbed to #10. In December 2010, Kim filmed music videos for the second and third singles from her fifth studio album releasing in 2011.
Kim confirmed in January, 2011 that she would be releasing her next album which is currently untitled in 2011. Kim is working with producer Dr. Dre and 50 Cent on her album. Kim is expected to make a guest appearance on a track from 50 Cent's upcoming studio album as well as Dr. Dre's 2011 album Dextox and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins' album Still Cool. Lil Kim released a mixtape titled Black Friday on February 14, 2011. In a recent radio interview at 99 Jamz, Kim stated that her upcoming book, "The Price of Loyalty", is on hold to coincide with the release of her fifth studio album, to be release in the next coming months. While performing at a club in ATL on April 29, 2011, Kim stated that M.O.E, a track previously featured on her new mixtape Black Friday, will be the first single from her upcoming studio album.
Lil Kim: Countdown to LockdownOn March 9, BET premiered the show Lil Kim: Countdown to Lockdown, which was filmed before Kim headed to prison. The show became the highest rated premiere in BET history, with 1.7 million viewers. In May 2006, Debbie Harry released a Lil' Kim tribute song called "Dirty and Deep" in protest of her conviction. The song is available free from the Deborah Harry Home Page.
Dancing With the StarsLil' Kim appeared on the eighth season reality show Dancing with the Stars, which began airing on March 9, 2009. She was paired with professional dancer Derek Hough until the dance couple was eliminated on May 5, 2009, putting her at fifth place from all thirteen contestants that season. During the second week of the season, judge Len Goodman said that she "must have a bionic booty," a nickname that came due to her performance of the selected dance that evening.
Legal issuesOn March 17, 2005, Kim was convicted of three counts of conspiracy and one count of perjury for lying to a Federal grand jury about her friends' involvement in a 2001 shooting outside the Hot 97 studios in Manhattan. During the trial of her co-manager, Damion "D-Roc" Butler, and her bodyguard, Suif "Gutta" Jackson, a former member of the hip-hop group Junior M.A.F.I.A, she testified not to have known they were at the scene. However, video footage from a security placed all three at the scene, exiting the building. This directly contravened testimony before the grand jury. Butler and Jackson have since pled guilty to gun charges. Jackson was sentenced, in U.S. District Court, to twelve years in federal prison as part of plea bargain in which he admitted to firing at least twenty rounds during the incident. The length of the sentence was said to have been influenced by his previous gun-related convictions. In July 2005, Kim was sentenced to a one year and a day in prison, thirty days home detention upon release from custody, and three years of probation. She served the entirety of her sentence at the Federal Detention Center, Philadelphia in Center City, Philadelphia. She was released on July 3, 2006, after serving approximately 10 months. Kim, Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Register #56198-054, was released from BOP supervision on August 2, 2006.
Lil Kim and The Notorious BIG were said to have had an affair in 1996, while they worked on the career.
Lil Kim does not have any children..
- Grammy Awards
- 1997: Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "Ladies Night (Not Tonight remix)" (with Missy Elliott, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Da Brat, and Angie Martinez) (nominated)
- 2002: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Lady Marmalade" (WINNER)
- 2003: Best Female Rap Solo Performance for "Came Back for You" (nominated)
- 2003: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Can't Hold Us Down" (with Christina Aguilera) (nominated)
- 2003: Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "Magic Stick" (with 50 Cent) (nominated)
- 2008: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Let It Go" (with Keyshia Cole & Missy Elliott) (nominated)
- MTV Video Music Awards
- 1998: Viewer's Choice for "All About The Benjamins" (with P. Diddy and others)
- 2001: Video of the Year for "Lady Marmalade"
- 2001: Best Video from a Film for "Lady Marmalade"
- My VH1 Awards
- 2001: Favorite Video ("Lady Marmalade")
- 2001: Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just My Video? ("Lady Marmalade")
- Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards
- 1997: Best Video by a Female - Rap/R&B ("Crush On You")
- 1999: Best Video by a Female - Rap/R&B ("Not Tonight (remix)")
- Source Awards
- 2003: Female Artist of the Year
- 2003: Female Single of the Year "The Jumpoff"
- Teen Choice Awards
- 2001: Choice Song of the Summer ("Lady Marmalade")
- MOBO Awards
- 2003: Most Stylish Artist of the Year
- Radio Music Awards
- 2001: Song of the Year Top 40 Pop Radio-"Lady Marmalade"
- TMF Awards-Belgium
- 2001: Video of The Year-"Lady Marmalade"
- TMF Awards-Netherlands
- 2001: Video of The Year-"Lady Marmalade"
- ALMA Awards
- 2002: Outstanding Song- Motion Picture Soundtrack "Lady Marmalade"
- ASCAP Music Awards
- 2002: Song of the Year-"Lady Marmalade"
- MTV Japan Awards
- 2002: Best Choreography "Lady Marmalade"
- MVPA Video Awards
- 2002: Best Styling In A Video-"Lady Marmalade"
- VIBE Awards
- 2005: Album of the Year The Naked Truth (nominated)
- BET Awards
- 2006: Best Female Hip-Hop Artist (nominated)
- 2008: Best Song "Let It Go" (nominated)
- 2010: Best Female Hip-Hop Artist (nominated)
- American Music Awards
- 2003: Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
- 2005: Best Female Hip-Hop Artist (nominated)
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