Kim at her birthday celebration in 2009.
|Birth name||Kimberly Denise Jones|
|Also known as||Queen Bee, Queen Bitch, Queen of Hip Hop, Queen of Rap, Ms. White, Black Widow, Honey Girl, Ms. G.O.A.T. & Kimmy Blanco|
July 11, 1974 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Occupations||Rapper, actress, model, singer–songwriter, producer, author|
|Labels||Undeas/Big Beat (1995-1999)
Atlantic/Queen Bee (2000-2007)
Queen Bee (2008-2010)
IRS Records (2011-present)
|Associated acts||Mary J. Blige, The Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Mobb Deep, Jay-Z, Missy Elliott , Tiffany Foxx|
Kimberly Denise Jones (born July 11, 1974), known by her stage name Lil' Kim, is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, author, record producer, actress. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, living much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from home. In her teens, Kim would freestyle rap, heavily influenced by actress/singer Diana Ross, and fellow female hip-hop artists like MC Lyte and The Lady of Rage. Performing a freestyle rap for The Notorious B.I.G. got her music career start in 1995 with his group Junior M.A.F.I.A., whose debut album Conspiracy generated three hit singles.
Lil' Kim's debut studio album, Hard Core (1996) was certified Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and spawned three consecutive #1 rap hits: "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 (2003), were certified Platinum, making her the only female rapper besides Missy Elliott to have at least 3 platinum albums. She was featured on the single, "Lady Marmalade", which also had guest vocals by fellow recording artists Mýa, Pink and Christina Aguilera (a remake of the 1975 smash hit, originally recorded by LaBelle) which went to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female rapper to have a #1 on that chart. In addition, the remake won two MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year, and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 44th Grammy Awards in 2002. In 2005, she 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. She returned to the public eye in 2009 with an appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
Life and career
Early life and career beginnings
Jones was born in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of the New York City borough Brooklyn to parents Linwood Jones and Ruby Jones (now Ruby Jones-Mitchell). 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. Originally, she attended the Sarah J. Hale High School, but then later transferred to Brooklyn College Academy, the same school where fellow rappers Nas and Foxy Brown attended.
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, who was only 19 at the time. The group's first and only album, Conspiracy, was released on August 29, 1995 and debuted at number eight on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 69,000 copies in its first week of release. 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 RIAA certified Conspiracy gold on December 6, 1995. "Player's Anthem" and "Get Money" were certified gold and platinum respectively.
1996–2002: Hard Core and The Notorious K.I.M.
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 debuted at #11 on the Billboard 200, the highest debut for a female rap album at that time, and #3 on Billboard's Top R&B Albums, selling 78,000 copies in its first week of release. Hard Core was certified double platinum by the RIAA 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". In 1997, Kim promoted Hard Core by performing on P. Diddy's "No Way Out" tour. The tour continued though to 1998 and became one of the highest grossing hip-hop tours of all time, grossing an estimated $16 million. That same year, she launched her own label Queen Bee Entertainment. 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. 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 debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, selling 229,000 copies in its first week. It was certified platinum by the RIAA. It was on this LP that the well-known hip-hop feud between Kim and Foxy Brown escalated. In November, 2000, Kim embarked on the Jingle Ballers Jam Tour in support of the album.
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. 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. The second single, "Kimnotyze", was released as 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 Kim's third consecutive Top 10 hit in Germany after her number 5 hit "Lady Marmalade".
In 2002, 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. Kim released the song buzz song "Whats The Word" in mid-2002. Despite not having an official release, it went on to peak at number 9 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. It would later be released on the Japan edition of her third studio album, La Bella Mafia, as a bonus track.
2003–08: La Bella Mafia, The Naked Truth, and Ms. G.O.A.T.
On March 4, 2003, Kim released her third studio album, La Bella Mafia. It debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, selling 166,000 copies in its first week, giving Kim her second consecutive top 5 album. The album received generally positive reviews from critics, receiving a score of 65 on Metacritic. A buzz single, "Came Back For You", was released ahead of the album, the music video for the song featured reality television personality Victoria Gotti. The first single, "The Jump Off", featuring Mr. Cheeks, peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Follow up single, "Magic Stick", featuring 50 Cent, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying there for three weeks. The song never had a commercial release or a music video, but was successful due to high radio airplay, peaking at number 1 on Billboards Airplay chart. A third US only single, "Thug Luv", featuring Twista, was released in the last quarter of 2003 at peaked at number 60 on Billboards Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album was certified platinum in the US, selling over 1.1 million copies.
Kim was nominated for five Source Awards and won two ("Female Hip-Hop Artist of the Year", and "Female Single of the Year"). The album also got two Grammy Award nominations for 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. In 2004, Kim recorded a cover of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" which was used as the opening theme for Victoria Gotti's reality series Growing Up Gotti. The same year Kim was featured on the remix of "Naughty Girl" by Beyoncé Knowles.
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, selling 109,000 copies in its first week of release, 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 #67 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, her first compilation album was released on June 6, 2006. The album featured remixes of songs from her albums The Naked Truth and Hard Core. A limited pressing released only in the US, it received no promotion, due to Kim being in prison at the time of release, and failed to chart. On August 31, 2006, Kim presented the award for Best Male Video at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, it marked her first televised appearance since being released from prison. Kim also made appearances on the show The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll and Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious in 2007 and 2008 as a judge.
In January, 2008, Kim announced that she had parted ways with Atlantic Records, choosing to release future projects independently. Kim stated she had no hard feelings towards Atlantic but felt more comfortable in her knowledge of the music business to do it alone. Kim released her first mixtape, Ms. G.O.A.T., an acronym for "Greatest Of All Time", on June 3, 2008. It was produced by Mister Cee and DJ Whoo Kid, DJ's from New York City. Among critics, the mixtape 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.
2009–11: Black Friday and collaborations
On March 10, 2009, the song "Girls" by the Korean singer, Seven 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. Although it missed the Hot 100, it did chart on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaking at number 21.
On February 16, 2010, the Ludacris song "Hey Ho", which featured Kim and Lil Fate, was released as a promo single for his seventh studio album Battle of the Sexes. In June 2010, Kim started her 2010 Tour, her first headlining tour since 2000. It took her across the US, as well as Canada and Europe.
Kim confirmed in January, 2011 that she would be releasing her next album which is currently untitled in 2012. She 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 Detox. Kim released her second mixtape, titled Black Friday, on February 14, 2011. The video for the title track was released on February 16, 2011. The mixtape received mostly negative reviews from critics. It was made available for purchase via PayPal with the first 100,000 copies sold being signed by the rapper. In May, 2011, Kim performed in South Africa as part of the music festival ZarFest alongside Fat Joe, Timbaland and Ciara. On June 19, 2011, Kim performed alongside G-Unit member Shawty Lo and hinted a possible working relationship with G-Unit Records. That same month the song Kim was featured on, along with Rick Ross, titled "Anything (To Find You)", by R&B singer Monica was leaked. The song, which samples The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Who Shot Ya?", initially featured just Kim, but her second verse was removed to make room for Ross. Her vocals were then removed fully due to contractual issues with B.I.G's estate. In August 2011, Kim performed four dates in Australia as part of the WinterBeatz Festival alongside Fabolous, Mario, 50 Cent and G-Unit. During the August, 17 date in Perth, she joined 50 Cent on stage for a performance of "Magic Stick". It marked the first time the pair had performed the song together. On November 28, 2011 Kim released a buzz single called "I Am Not the One". She also announced that she would release an EP, but it was later shelved for unknown reasons.
2012–present: Touring, Fifth studio album, and Collaborations
On Valentine's Day, 2012, Kim released the song "If You Love Me" produced by "Prince Saheb" of Knockout Entertainment as a gift to her fans. That same month it was announced she would make her return to the stage on BET's 'Rip the Runway.' It marked the her first televised performance in years. In March, 2012, during an interview with MTV's Sucker Free, Kim revealed that contract issues with production duo Trackmasters were the reason behind her album delay, saying "...contractually, by the courts, I could not record any music - I wasn't supposed to put any music out.” On March 23, 2012, the song "Keys To The City", a collaboration with Young Jeezy, was leaked to the internet. Kim first mentioned about the song on an interview with MTV's RapFix, saying “I have a song with another celebrity person that I know the world and my fans are gonna love... It's vintage Kim mixed with the new Kim.” During the same RapFix Kim also revealed another song, titled "I'm Ready", which she hopes to do with rapper 50 Cent, whom she did "Magic Stick" with. Kim also commented on the direction of her music, saying she was in "Kanye West mode", adding "...You do whatever you want to do ...it's all about taking chances". On when her album would be released, Kim said “I would love to put one out this year, this summer, going into next fall".
Kim kicked off her Return of the Queen Tour on May 17, 2012 to positive reviews, and during a stop in Chicago Kim hinted at a much larger scale tour with Missy Elliott and Eve once her own tour finished. Kim is expected to release her fifth studio album, which is currently untitled, in 2013. In a radio interview at 99 Jamz, Kim stated that her upcoming book, "The Price of Loyalty", is on hold to coincide with the release of the album. It was also revealed in 2012 that Lil' Kim had been collaborating with the upcoming female rapper Tiffany Foxx (stage name T-Foxx). Together, the two have released two songs, "Twisted" and "Jay-Z," both of which have accompanying music videos. Both of these songs have received mostly positive reviews from critics. The two songs are set to be released on Foxx's mixtape, "Goaldiggers," which is scheduled to be released Memorial Day weekend.  On January 25, 2013, Kim announced via Twitter that she is in the final stages of the album, saying "...I will be in the studio finishing up my new album!! I can't wait to see everyone VERY soon!!!! Muaahhhh :) !!!!!!!". On March 6, 2013, Kim returned to RapFix and revealed that Bangladesh would be executive producing her album with her, and that she had signed a business deal with former Chairman and CEO of EMI Records, Charles Koppelman. During an interview with XXL on April 26, 2013, Kim revealed that she does not have a name for the album yet, but the first official single would be out by mid year. Kim has described the single, produced by Bangladesh, as "different" and "sweet dessert".
Product and endorsements
In 1998, Kim was announced as the face for the fashion brand Candie's. She became the first and only rapper to date to endorse the brand. In 2000, Kim signed a deal with fashion house Iceberg, and also with cosmetics brand MAC to help endorse their VIVA GLAM line of lipsticks and lip glosses alongside singer Mary J. Blige. The MAC VIVA GLAM III campaign, which was built around a plum-brown lipstick, helped raise $4 million for the company in one year and became the most successful VIVA GLAM campaign to date. Due to the success, the two signed on for a second year. The rapper also modeled for the urban fashion line Baby Phat in August, 2000. In March, 2001, Kim, along with several other artists, featured in a commercial for Apple's Mac computers. It highlighted how users can burn custom CD's on their Mac. In 2003, Kim became the spokesperson for American clothing brand Old Navy. That same year her song "The Jump Off" was used in a commercial for AOL's dial up Internet service.
In 2004, it was announced that Kim would launch a designer watch collection, titled Royalty by Lil' Kim. Jeweler Jacob Arabo manufactured the watches. She also debuted her first clothing line, entitled Hollyhood. Kim also lent her voice to the video game Def Jam: Fight for NY which she was featured in. In 2005, Kim collaborated on a shoe line with high end shoe store, Petite Peton. In August 2010, Kim signed a deal with Three Olives Vodka to become the face for their Purple vodka. In September of that same year, Kim, along with her cousin cousin Katrise Jones, opened their first beauty salon in Charlotte, North Carolina. The salon, titled Salon Se Swa, currently has 5 locations across the United States with locations coming soon in Atlanta and New York. That same month, Kim also launched her second clothing line, entitled 24/7 Goddess Collection, at Charlotte NC Fashion Week. In November 2012, Kim began endorsing Cîroc vodka, revealing her own cocktail, titled "Queen Bee", and announcing herself as the "First Lady" of the brand.
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 against Ty Murray and his partner Chelsie Hightower, putting her at fifth place from all thirteen contestants that season. Her elimination was met by many boo's from the audience, as she was a consistent high-scorer and a fan favorite. During the third week of the season, judge Len Goodman said that she "must have a bionic booty," a nickname that resulted from her performance of the selected dance that evening (the Samba).
In December, 2004, Kim began recording a pilot for a VH1 reality show titled 718 Makeover. The 718 in the title is the area code for Brooklyn, where Kim grew up. The show never made it to air.
Lil' Kim: Countdown to Lockdown
On March 9, 2006, 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, averaging 1.9 million viewers. In May 2006, Debbie Harry released a Lil' Kim tribute song called "Dirty and Deep" in protest of her conviction. The song was available for free from her official website.
In 2000, Kim embarked on a promo tour in support of her second studio album, The Notorious K.I.M., and the MAC AIDS Fund. She visited MAC cosmetics counters, interacted with fans and help raise money and awareness for the cause, which helps people who are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Her endorsement for MAC, with Mary J. Blige, would go on to raise $4 million for the fund. In October, 2001, Kim was featured on the R&B mix of the song "What's Going On". Kim, along with several other popular recording artists, released the song under the name "Artists Against AIDS Worldwide", with proceeds going to AIDS programs worldwide and also United Ways September 11th Fund. In 2004, Kim started her own foundation called Lil' Kim Cares. The foundation raises funds, resources and awareness for national programs that assist with issues of homelessness, HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, transitional living, child neglect and violence against women. Speaking about the foundation, Kim stated she planned to be involved in a number of causes, most of which had effected her personally in past years. On April 17, 2004, Kim participated in the 28th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. The event helped raise more than $100,000 for "Racing for Kids", a non-profit program benefiting Southern California children's hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County. On August 24, 2004, Kim encouraged others to vote in the United States presidential election through the Rock the Vote campaign.
On March 10, 2005, Kim, along with several other artists, appeared in an episode of The Apprentice. Each artist was approached by contestants to donate a "personal experience" to be auctioned off for charity through music channel Fuse's "Daily Download" program with proceeds going to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. In September, 2005, Kim paired up with fashion designer, and friend, Marc Jacobs for a limited edition t-shirt featuring an image of the rapper. The shirt, titled Marc Jacobs Loves Lil' Kim, was sold exclusively at Marc Jacob stores with 100% of the proceeds going to The Door. That same year Kim donated a diamond watch from her "Royalty" watch line to the World AIDS Day eBay Auction titled "Bid 2 Beat AIDS". Proceeds went to LIFEbeat, an organization providing HIV/AIDS information to millions of young people annually. Through her foundation, Kim has given back to many, including teaming up with apparel company Mitchell & Ness and boxer Zab Judah to donate toys to underprivileged youth in Philadelphia in 2005, and teaming up with MusiCares in 2007 for a silent auction, held at the Grammys On The Hill ceremony, to help raise funds for the foundation. That same year, Kim was a part of the 4th Annual GRAMMY Charity Holiday Auction, which featured a large variety of celebrity-signed memorabilia that people could bid on through the online auction site eBay. On December 1, 2007, Kim teamed up with Preserve Our Legacy and the New Jersey Stem Cell Research and Education Foundation to put on a celebrity basketball game to raise awareness about various health issues plaguing minority communities. On July 11, 2010, Kim launched her signature milkshake, titled "Queen Bee", at Millions of Milkshakes in West Hollywood, with proceeds going towards Wyclef Jean's Yéle Haiti foundation. On February 9, 2013, Kim took part in the first annual Reality On The Runway fashion show. The event wanted to help raise $300,000 for people infected with HIV/AIDS and increase awareness. All designs from the show were auctioned off online following the event with a portion of the proceeds going to AIDS United.
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 and 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 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 12 months. Kim, Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Register #56198-054, was released from BOP supervision on August 2, 2006.
Hip hop rivalries
Long before the beef erupted between Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown, the two were at one point high school friends. The pair resided in Brooklyn and would often hang out and talk on the phone till six in the morning. Foxy Brown recalls, "We always had a pact. We use to be managed by Lance 'Un' Rivera. But then Kim went with Biggie, and I went with Jay-Z; she paid her dues." Although they became associates and members of differing hip-hop groups (Kim with Junior M.A.F.I.A. and Foxy with The Firm), both Foxy and Kim still remained the best of friends and began to work together musically in various projects. In 1995, the two were featured on the music video and remix of Total's single, "No One Else" alongside Da Brat. In the summer of 1996, both Brown and Kim were featured in the Hot 97 NY Fashion Show. By the latter end of 1996, Kim and Foxy were requested to be featured in a variety of magazine covers together, among the likes of Source and the Vibe special, "Rap Reigns Supreme," which saw releases in 1997 and 1998, respectively.
But in the midst of their collaborative efforts, conflicts were developing between Brown's and Kim's camps. The first dispute occurred during the releases of their debut albums, which were both coincidentally released in November 1996, a week apart from each other. Moreover, media sources took notice of copycatting in the album sleeve of Foxy Brown's Ill Na Na, where Brown was shown wearing the same exact outfit as the one Kim was wearing in the album sleeve of her debut Hard Core.
In 1997, Kim and Foxy Brown were slated to record an album and its title track, "Thelma & Louise." However, the dispute between the two female rappers prevented any recording for the project; Brown had even went further to add that she and Kim were no longer friends. When asked on the matter, Brown stated, "It didn't have to do with Kim and I personally. It was the people around us. At the time we were supposed to record [Thelma & Louise], we weren't speaking. [Lance] 'Un' [Rivera] came to me and said, 'I know you and Shorty [Kim] ain't on the best of terms right now, but....' And at first I wasn't really with it. The day after, Kim called me. But when you have two women who once were friends, who now have bitter feelings toward each other and are getting fed bull from every angle... the conversation was useless." Kim and Foxy then began to argue over the phone for 30 minutes in debate of "who said what." Brown recalls, "I was talking to a dial tone." Brown hung up on Kim and decided to record her verse for "Thelma & Louise" anyway despite the argument she and Kim just had. After finishing her recording, Brown was waiting with Chris Lighty and 'Un' in the studio and claims she was expecting Kim to come to the studio to record her part. However, after waiting "several hours," Brown recalled, "[Kim] never showed."
For more than a year, Brown and Kim would no longer talk to each other until a burglary incident at Brown's house broke their silence. On July 8, 1998, two gunmen had forced their way into Brown's home by pretending to be package delivery men; they had pushed Brown's mother into the bathroom and held Brown at gunpoint with a handgun. Stricken with fear, Lil' Kim immediately phoned Foxy Brown to check to see if she was okay. Brown confirmed, "Kim was the first one concerned. I appreciated that and still have mad love for her." Following the heinous crime, Lance 'Un' Rivera negotiated with Foxy and Kim to complete "Thelma & Louise"; however, the two were not 100% ready due to they were still in the process of slowly rekindling their friendship. But less than a year later, friction between the two would resurface again.
On January 26, 1999, Foxy Brown's sophomore album, Chyna Doll, was released to mixed reviews. Critics took note of Brown's record "My Life," which served as an "open appeal" to Brown's friendship with Lil' Kim, in which she cited the relationship being "lost for pride." Critics also noted Brown's contradiction of "My Life," in the latter portion of Chyna Doll, where she made attacks on "pointed mistresses." Critics indicated the records were in subtle use to diss Lil' Kim, especially since during this time, Brown had been supporting Kim's rival Faith Evans in multiple interviews. On May 1999, the mastered version of Lil Cease's "Play Around" with Diddy's verse had hit radio airwaves and was set to be featured on Cease's debut The Wonderful World of Cease A Leo. In the song, after Kim's guest rap, Diddy says, "Stop trying to sound like her too bitches"; a subliminal diss aimed at Foxy. In addition, tabloid reports began to circulate and beg the question, "Why does Foxy Brown suddenly sound exactly like Lil' Kim?" While others went on to add, in emphasis of Diddy's "Play Around" verse: "It's finally coming out. Foxy Brown bites worse than a pit bull." In addition, Kim's guest appearance on Mobb Deep's "Quiet Storm (Remix)" and her sophomore album's title track, "The Notorious K.I.M.," were released as diss records to Foxy Brown. Angered by Kim's response, Brown joined forces with longtime associates Capone-N-Noreaga on the track, "Bang, Bang." In the track, Brown mimicked Kim's interpolation of MC Lyte's "10% Dis," and went on to add: "You and Diddy y'all kill me with that subliminal shit." Towards the ending of her verse, Brown pushed the envelope by dissing Kim's grieving for the loss of Biggie Smalls, "Let the nigga [Biggie] rest in peace, and hop off his dick, bitch do you."
Deeply offended by Foxy's harsh remarks, Kim did not reply subliminally nor openly towards Brown. However, on February 26, 2001, at 3 p.m., when Kim had left New York radio station Hot 97 a shooting broke out; over twenty shots were fired between two groups of three men. One of the men in the groups was Capone, one-half member of Capone-N-Noreaga, who was entering the Hot 97 building in promotion of interviewer DJ Clue's new album, The Professional 2, which happened to have also featured Kim. An affiliate, Efrain Ocasio, from Capone's entourage was shot in the back; both parties from Kim and Capone denied any involvement in the shooting. However, a motive behind the shooting was later determined; detectives informed The New York Daily News that it was a result of the verses Foxy Brown recited in "Bang, Bang."
Shaken up by the incident, Brown tried to reach out to Kim in hopes of settling a truce. Brown stated, "I really don't know how it started. But Russell [Simmons] and I, we got together, and I said, 'Russell, I want to call a truce.' I want to have a sit-down with Kim. I don't care what it is. Let's just end it. We can even do a collaboration. We're bigger than this. If it has to start with me, let it start with me." Brown even extended an olive branch to Kim's camp, however Kim had cut all ties with Diddy, Bad Boy associates and wanted no communication with Brown whatsoever. On July 6, 2005, Kim was sentenced to prison for three counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy.
During the 4-year span leading up to Kim's sentencing, Brown and Kim began to exchange subtle diss records towards each other, among them included Kim's La Bella Mafia, "Came Back for You," "Quiet," and "Guess Who's Back"; and in turn, Brown's Ill Na Na 2: The Fever and various mixtape freestyles with Kim's rival, Charli Baltimore. In the midst of the diss records, Brown was interviewed by Doug Banks in 2003 to disclose any further details pertaining to her dispute with Kim. Brown claimed that Kim was allegedly jealous that Biggie was to include Brown in his Junior Mafia collective. Brown also added that a tell-all book disclosing the feud would be released in Christmas of 2003. In her final regards to the dispute, Brown stated: "Kim is the only female artist that keeps me on my toes. She's the only one that I can look at; and any other artist that says they don't have that one person that keeps them driven... is lying."
Following her release from prison, Lil' Kim no longer acknowledged Foxy Brown. Brown, on the other hand, has consistently targeted Kim as a prime basis in her music and concert venues since Kim's prison release.
On May 17, 2012, Kim attended an interview with radio show, The Breakfast Club. When asked about whether or not she had spoken to Brown at all in recent years, Kim replied, "I don't even know her. And when I say that; I don't know who she is to these days. I wouldn't even know what her voice sounds like."
Kim along with Junior M.A.F.I.A. and Bad Boy Records artist Shyne were caught up in a quarrel when Shyne was being compared to the Notorious B.I.G.. Junior M.A.F.I.A. felt Shyne was trying to exploit the late rapper. Kim directed attacks towards Shyne on The Notorious K.I.M.'s title track, rapping "Everybody wanna shine off of BIG/ Get it, Shyne tryna sound like him when they rhyme". Shyne responded: "Me going back and forth with a woman? That's not gangster." In 2000, Kim addressed Shyne, saying "he's bad energy, he's negative energy, and he's just nothing I want to be a part of."
Kim has been embroiled in a feud with rapper Nicki Minaj since she gained her breakthrough success with Pink Friday. With Kim and critics noticing resemblances with her on the Sucka Free mixtape, Kim accused Minaj of copying her image saying, "If you are going to steal my swag, you gonna have to pay. Something gotta give. You help me, I help you. That's how it goes to me." Minaj's single "Roman's Revenge" with Eminem was believed by critics to be a response to Kim's comments, although she later denied this, she responded to the situation in an interview on The Angie Martinez show saying "She picked a fight with Foxy, then she picked a fight with Eve, then she picked a fight a fight with Remy, then it was Mrs. Wallace, then it was Nicki Minaj," said Minaj. "Every time you in the news, it's 'cause you gettin' at somebody! Where's your music? Put your music out, and when I see your name on Billboard, that's when I'll respond to you. Other than that, goodbye. It's Barbie, bitch."
Kim reignited the feud following the release of her mixtape Black Friday, an album that directly referenced Nicki Minaj, via her debut album title and songs such as "Did It On'em" (that became "Pissin' On'em"); and with artwork that showed Lil' Kim decapitating Minaj with a sword. A fragment of a 'diss' track called "Tragedy" was released online in April 2011, featuring lyrics "Pink Friday, Eminem, 8 Mile/ It must hurt to sell your album on PayPal." Following the release of Minaj's second album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, critics suggested that the tracks "Stupid Hoe" may have contained attacks at Kim. Lil' Kim later suggested in an interview with 105's Breakfast Club that the song "Automatic" from Minaj's second album was similar to her unreleased material, also calling Minaj "obnoxious" and "catty".
The feud has drew attention from various other recording artists and rappers. Minaj's labelmate and rapper, Drake said "[he] didn't give a fuck what Lil Kim or nobody else is talking about," anointing Minaj the best female rapper. 50 Cent commented on the situation in an online interview with Power 98.3 FM remarking, "It's obvious ... she [Minaj] was inspired by some of Kim's [style]. But that's not bad. There's not a whole lot of female artists that you can make reference to, so you'll see those little influences even stronger. I think she's hot—I think she's got a good little thing going right now, as far as Nicki Minaj is concerned." Diddy spoke of his love and respect for Kim, attributing his personal success, in part, to her, however he defended working with Minaj stating that "I wouldn't be around Nicki if I ever heard anything negative said about Kim. I've never heard anything like that." Mary J. Blige commented on the rivalry, saying, "Kim is my friend and I love and respect Nicki, just met her and got to know the young lady and she's a sweetheart.", adding that the feud had arisen because of "crews" behind it.
Mixtapes and Other Projects
Awards and nominations
|1997||"Crush On You"||Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for Best Video by a Female - Rap/R&B||Won|
|1998||"Not Tonight" (with Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes & Da Brat)||Won|
|"All About The Benjamins" (with Puff Daddy, The LOX & The Notorious B.I.G.)||MTV Video Music Award for Viewer's Choice||Won
|"Not Tonight" (with Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes & Da Brat)||Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group||Nominated|
|1999||Herself||New York Award: Music||Won
|2000||VIBE Black Music Month Salute Award||Won|
|2001||BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist||Nominated|
|"How Many Licks" (with Sisqó)||Source Awards Music Video Of The Year||Nominated|
|"Lady Marmalade" (with Christina Aguilera, Pink & Mýa)||MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year||Won
|MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film||Won
|MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song||Nominated|
|My VH1 Music Award for Favorite Video||Won
|My VH1 Music Award for Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just My Video?||Won
|Teen Choice Award for Choice Song of the Summer||Won|
|Radio Music Award for Top 40 Pop Radio Song of the Year||Won
|TMF Award (Belgium) for Video of the Year||Won|
|TMF Award (Netherlands) for Video of the Year||Won|
|2002||MTV Video Music Award Japan for Best Video from a Film||Won
|Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals||Won
|ALMA Award for Outstanding Song - Motion Picture Soundtrack||Won
|ASCAP Music Award for Song of the Year||Won|
|MVPA Video Award for Best Styling In A Video||Won|
|Juwanna Mann||VH1 Big In 2002 "Shakespeare In Da Hiz-Zouse" Award||Nominated|
|2003||Herself||BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist||Nominated|
|American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Female Artist||Nominated|
|MOBO Fashion Icon||Won
|Source Award for Female Artist of the Year||Won
|"The Jump Off" (with Mr. Cheeks)||Source Award for Female Single of the Year||Won
|2004||"Came Back for You"||Grammy Award for Best Female Rap Solo Performance||Nominated|
|"Can't Hold Us Down" (with Christina Aguilera)||Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals||Nominated|
|"Magic Stick" (with 50 Cent)||Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group||Nominated|
|"Naughty Girl (Remix)" (with Beyoncé)||Source Award for Best Female Rap Collaboration||Nominated|
|2005||"The Naked Truth"||VIBE Award for Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Herself||American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Female Artist||Nominated|
|2006||BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist||Nominated|
|2008||"Let It Go" (with Keyshia Cole & Missy Elliott)||BET Award for Best Song||Nominated|
|Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration||Nominated|
|2010||Herself||BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist||Nominated|
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