Kimberly Denise Jones (born July 11, 1975), better known by her stage
name Lil' Kim, is an American rapper, singer, 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. Influenced by fellow
rapper The Notorious B.I.G., 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 chart-topping
hits "No Time" and "Crush on You". Her following
albums, The Notorious K.I.M. (2000) and La Bella Mafia (2003), both
were certified platinum by the RIAA.
In 2005, Lil' Kim served a yearlong prison sentence for lying to a
jury about her friends' involvement in a shooting four years earlier.
During her incarceration, her fourth album The Naked Truth was released.
Lil' Kim returned to the public spotlight in 2009 with an appearance
on Dancing with the Stars.
Jones was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of the New York
City borough Brooklyn. 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 and 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
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 hadn't 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.
Lil' Kim also performed in two international hit singles. "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
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)
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 didn't sell as well as her previous works, selling less than
400,000 copies. Kim has said that her jail 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.
Ms. G.O.A.T. (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
3rd, 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 didn’t 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.
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 appearence on a track from 50 Cent's upcoming studio album.
Kim confirmed on Twitter that she would be releasing a mix tape entitled "Black
Friday" on February 14th, 2011.
Lil Kim: Countdown to Lockdown (2006)
On March 9, BET premiered the show Lil Kim: Countdown to Lockdown,
which was filmed before Kim headed to jail. 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 Stars
Lil' 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.
Prison sentence and release
On 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
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
camera 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.
Main article: Lil' Kim discography
* Hard Core (1996)
* The Notorious K.I.M. (2000)
* La Bella Mafia (2003)
* The Naked Truth (2005)
* Lil' Kim Forthcoming Studio album (2011)
* Ms. G.O.A.T. (2008)
* Black Friday (2011)
* V.I.P. (as freedom fighter) (1999)
* DAG (as Gina Marie) (2001)
* Moesha (as Diamond) (2001)
* The Parkers (as herself) (2001)
* American Dreams as Shirley Ellis (October 12, 2003)
* Lil Kim: Countdown to Lockdown (2006)
* The Game (as herself) (2007)
* Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll (2007)
* Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (2008)
* Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 8) (2009)
Year Film Role
1997 Gangstresses Herself
1999 She's All That Alex
2001 Zoolander Herself
2002 Juwanna Mann Tina Parker
2003 Those Who Walk in Darkness Soledad
Gang of Roses Chastity
2004 Nora's Hair Salon Herself
You Got Served Herself
2005 Lil' Pimp Sweet Chiffon (voice)
There's a God on the Mic Herself
2008 Superhero Movie Xavier's daughter