Lil Kim is the most popular female rapper in history. Her crossover appeal was cemented earlier this year with her stint on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Yet after four popular studio albums under her belt, the respect and appreciation for her talent is nowhere near comparable to her male counterparts at the top of their game (read: Jay-Z, Lil Wayne). Yeah, there’s no argument from most that there is still a disparity amongst the sexes regarding success. But, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, and with the largest fan base yet, Lil Kim is poised to show the world why her future will be far more bright that her already-storied past.
Many know her story. Co-signed by legendary MC Christopher “Notorious B.I.G” Wallace as a part of Junior M.A.F.I.A, Kimberly Denise Jones exploded onto the scene in 1996 with her first release Hard Core. The provocative album would soon become legendary in hip-hop.
It would also become the box that Kim could not escape.
Hard Core went double-platinum. After her subsequent releases The Notorious K.I.M. (2000), La Bella Mafia (2003), and The Naked Truth (2005) failed to reach the same numbers sales-wise, many wrote off her artistic abilities as being a one-trick pony. Her unapologetic embrace of her in-your-face sexuality in her image and music has been a double-edged sword for her career. It is notable that similar sexually charged lyrics and imagery are present in many top male artists’ music as well – though it doesn’t appear to have the same damaging affect to their careers. Things that make you go hmmmm.
Her biggest public trial was undoubtedly her conviction on 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. She was released on July 3rd, 2006, after serving approximately 10 months.
BE Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with Lil Kim for a performance during Labor Day weekend in Atlanta at a popular nightclub. Clearly present for the hardcore legend, fans waited until 5:00 AM for the pint-sized femme fatale to show up and deliver. And deliver she did! Her performance solidified our view that Kim’s best days are ahead of her. Her perseverance navigating a male dominated industry will pay off for Kim, as she is rumored to be prepping a new album, titled Vintage.
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