Notorious for her flesh-baring image and sexually explicit lyrics, Lil' Kim shot to fame in the latter half of the s. She came from a broken home, and as a teenager had endured a violent relationship with her father. As a result she ran away and fell into an outwardly glamorous, but dangerous and exploitative world of pimps and drug dealers.
She was discovered by Christopher Wallace, aka the Notorious B. She is one of only three female rappers to have three platinum albums — the others being Missy Elliott and Nicki Minaj. Since regaining her freedom, Kim has continued to be active musically — and also as a reality-TV star — and in June became a mother to a daughter, Royal Reign, whose father is the Honduras-born rapper Mr.
The couple are no longer together. She has an older brother, Christopher. As a child, Kim was sent to a well-regarded Catholic school — Queen of All Saints in Brooklyn — in an attempt to provide a stable learning environment.
Kim moved with her mother and brother to suburban New Rochelle, NY, where some of the girls in their new, all-white neighborhood teased Kim about her skin color. But Ruby Mae struggled for money and, unable to support her family, eventually granted Linwood custody of their two children. Linwood remarried, though his relationship with Kim soured irreparably only after she began dating boys at the age of According to Kim he became increasingly verbally abusive and their relationship took a violent turn — Kim once stabbed him with a pair of scissors.
Kim left home at In the years that followed, she sometimes stayed with neighbors, or with older men who housed and fed her — in return for sex. She has also hinted that she was sexually abused, though she has never named her abuser. Kim attended the Sarah J. By the time Kim met Christopher Wallace at the age of 17, she had dropped out of education completely. Wallace was a couple of years older at 19, a small-time drug dealer on the path to hip-hop superstardom as the Notorious B. As well as his solo career, Wallace also put together a hip-hop group, Junior MAFIA an acronym for Masters at Finding Intelligent Attitudes , whose membership included several of his childhood friends.
Lil' Kim — so called because of her diminutive 4-foot- inch stature — became its only female member. With Wallace at the helm, Junior M.
With the single "Player's Anthem," Lil' Kim was introduced to the world. She modeled her vocal flow on that of the Notorious B. With Wallace as executive producer — he also rapped on four of the songs — Hard Core showcased more of the raunchy and lyrical wordplay that the public had already heard on Conspiracy. The album debuted at No. She had changed her appearance dramatically — with breast implants, blonde wigs and blue-eyed contact lenses. But on closer inspection her modified appearance seemed an attempt to subvert deep-seated feelings of inadequacy: it had been blonde, blue-eyed girls who had ridiculed Kim when she was a child.
Even after she found success, the wounds seemed not to have entirely healed. It begged the question: is Lil' Kim a feminist icon, or a victim, or perhaps even both? I think being Lil' Kim the rapper helped me deal with it better. I think doing photo shoots and seeing all the people respond to me has helped. Around the same time as Kim's debut, the public was introduced to another provocative female rapper by the name of Foxy Brown, whose debut album, Ill Na Na , was released a week after Hard Core.
The pair had previously been friends, but the clash of the release dates, and their strikingly similar lingerie-clad album covers, sparked a rivalry that would descend into a bitter feud. Christopher Wallace discovered Kim and developed her as an artist —they became lovers too, though their relationship was far from exclusive: Wallace famously slept around.
His death hit her hard: she believed he was the only man who had ever loved her for who she was. Despite never being officially released as a single, it held the No. The following year it won a Grammy award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals — firmly establishing Kim as one of the most sought-after rappers of the early 21st century.
Debuting at No. Like its two predecessors, the album was also certified platinum. At the time Missy Elliott was the only other female MC with three platinum albums. On February 26, , gunshots were fired outside the Hot 97 studio in Manhattan, after Lil' Kim had been interviewed on the radio station. One man was shot and critically wounded. When the case came to trial, Kim told a grand jury that she had no knowledge that two of her entourage — her manager, Damion Butler, and another man, Suif Jackson — had been present at the time of the shooting.
As a result, Kim was eventually convicted of perjury and conspiracy for lying to a federal grand jury in March Though it debuted at No. This can perhaps be explained by the fact that Kim was unable to promote the album from behind bars; nevertheless it went down well with the critics.
Some fans called The Naked Truth the greatest album of all time by a female rapper. After serving her day sentence, Lil' Kim was released from prison and initially struggled to get her career back on track. In , she left Atlantic Records with the intention of releasing her own music independently. The same year, she dropped the mixtape Ms.
Kim also branched out into reality television, acting as a judge on the series Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious and competing in Dancing with the Stars — where she was a popular contestant. There were audible boos from the audience when she was eliminated in fifth place.
She released her second mixtape, Black Friday , in , its title a nod to her feud with the rapper Nicki Minaj, who had in released the album Pink Friday. A new studio album is expected to drop in Not all hip-hop beefs last forever — even the most deeply personal ones. In recent years Lil' Kim has reconciled with her former love rival Faith Evans — they had been at loggerheads for many years after the Notorious B. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Subscribe to the Biography newsletters to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives.
Lil Wayne is a Grammy Award-winning rapper known for his hit albums, mixtapes and singles, including "A Milli" and "Lollipop. Known for her razor-sharp disses, she started the Roxanne Wars in the mid 80s and was the only female member of the hip-hop collective, the Juice Crew.
Rapper-producer Dr. Dre first made it big with hip-hop group N. He has also enjoyed success as a solo act and worked with Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent. Kanye West is a Grammy Award-winning rapper and record producer and fashion designer.
Outspoken and prone to controversy, he became additional celebrity fodder with his marriage to Kim Kardashian. Singer and songwriter Lauryn Hill soared onto the music scene as part of the hip-hop trio Fugees before launching her solo career with the Grammy-winning album 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Black History. Lil' Kim found success as a female rapper starting in the mid '90s, with her explicit lyrics and sexy persona under the guidance of hip-hop icon Biggie Smalls.