Hard Core (Lil' Kim album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hard Core
Lil' Kim Hardcore album cover.jpg
Studio album by Lil' Kim
Released November 12, 1996 (1996-11-12)
Recorded 1995–96
Studio
Genre
Length 56:59
Label
Producer
Lil' Kim chronology
Hard Core
(1996)
The Notorious K.I.M.
(2000)
Singles from Hard Core
  1. "No Time"
    Released: October 29, 1996
  2. "Crush on You (Remix)"
    Released: June 13, 1997
  3. "Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)"
    Released: June 30, 1997

Hard Core is the debut studio album by American rapper Lil' Kim. It was released on November 12, 1996, by Undeas Recordings and Big Beat Records. After having a success with the hip hop group Junior M.A.F.I.A. and their album Conspiracy (1995), Kim began working on her solo album with The Notorious B.I.G. serving as the executive producer. She collaborated with a number of producers, such as Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, Stevie J., David "Ski" Willis and Jermaine Dupri, among others. Other rappers, including Jay Z, Lil' Cease and Puff Daddy were featured on the album. Recording for the album took place from 1995 to 1996, mainly at The Hit Factory studio, in New York City.

The album was notable for its overt raunchy sexual tone and Kim's lyrical delivery, which was praised by music critics. Hard Core debuted at number 11 on the US Billboard 200,[1] and number 3 on the Billboard's Top R&B Albums, selling 78,000 copies in its first week,[2] and reached the top ten of the Canadian Albums Chart. In the United States, Hard Core was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and is considered by many a classic hip hop album.[3][4]

Background[edit]

After making her debut recording appearance on Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s Conspiracy album, Lil' Kim appeared on records by artists such as Mona Lisa, The Isley Brothers, and Total. With recording her debut album, Hard Core was principally recorded at Manhattan-based studio, The Hit Factory, in New York City.[5] Working with a number of producers, including Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs and Jermaine Dupri, the album featured edgy hardcore rap and explicit sexuality, as the title suggested, which at the time were two territories that had long been the province of male rappers.[6] The album was originally titled "Queen Bee".[7]

Guest artists included Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., and other members of Junior M.A.F.I.A.[8] The promotional campaign for the album, including the album cover, featured provocative advertisements of Kim dressed in a skimpy bikini and surrounded by furs.[9]

Promotion[edit]

Singles[edit]

The first two singles from Hard Core, the platinum "No Time" and remix version of "Crush on You" both peaked in the top twenty on the Billboard Hot 100, top ten of the Hot R&B Singles chart, and topped the Rap Songs chart. Both singles peaked in the top fifty in the UK Singles Chart. A third single "Not Tonight" became a huge top ten success in 1997, peaked at number six on the Hot 100, number three on the Hot R&B Singles chart, and also topped the Rap Songs chart, making Kim the first female rap artist to have three consecutive number-one singles on that chart. The single also reached the top twenty on the UK charts and number ten in Germany. The single was certified platinum by the RIAA.[10] It was nominated in 1998 for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars [11]
Entertainment Weekly (A) [12]
PopMatters (favorable) [13]
RapReviews.com (7/10)[14]
Rhapsody (favorable) [15]
Robert Christgau (choice cut)[16]
Rolling Stone 4.5/5 stars[17]
Spin (7/10) [18]
The Source 3.5/5 stars [18]

The album received critical acclaim, as The Source called the album "...a solid debut because phat beats and rhymes are really all it takes, and they're both present...", while Rolling Stone magazine included Hard Core in its list of "Essential Recordings of the 90's".[18] Rolling Stone concluded in reviewing the album in the magazine's 2004 version of the Rolling Stone Album Guide:[19]

Hip-hop had never seen anything like Brooklynite Kimberly Jones at the time of her solo debut: She single-handedly raised the bar for raunchy lyrics in hip-hop, making male rappers quiver with fear with lines like "You ain't lickin' this, you ain't stickin' this . . . I don't want dick tonight/Eat my pussy right" ("Not Tonight"). Riding the wing of Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die and Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt, Kim's Hard Core helped put East Coast hip-hop back on top in the late '90s. The album's overreliance on old '70s funk samples doesn't detract a bit from the Queen Bee's fearless rhymes: In "Dreams", she demands service from R. Kelly, Babyface, and nearly every "R&B dick" in the field. A landmark of bold, hilarious filth.

Chart performance[edit]

The Hard Core album debuted and peaked at number eleven on the U.S. Billboard 200 and number one on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart,[20] selling 78,000 copies in its first week.[2] In the United States, it was certified double platinum by the RIAA for more than two million copies shipped to music stores. In Canada, the album peaked at number nine. Despite not spending another week inside the top 30,[2] the album became a commercial success and went on to be certified double platinum by the RIAA, selling 2.4 million copies in the U.S. alone.[21] The album spent a total of 47 weeks on the Billboard 200.The album has sold more than 5.7 million copies worldwide.[22]

The first two singles from Hard Core, the platinum "No Time" and remix version of "Crush on You" both peaked in the top twenty on the Billboard Hot 100, top ten of the Hot R&B Singles chart, and topped the Rap Songs chart- making the rapper the first female rap artist to have two consecutive number-one hits on that chart. Both single peaked in the top fifty in the UK Singles Chart. A third single "Not Tonight" (Ladies Night Remix)" became a huge top ten success in 1997, peaked at number six on the Hot 100, number three on the Hot R&B Singles chart, and also topped the Rap Songs chart. The single also reached the top twenty on the UK charts and number ten in Germany. The single was certified platinum by the RIAA.[23] It was nominated in 1998 for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Technical personnel
Art personnel

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro in a-Minor"       2:14
2. "Big Momma Thang" (featuring Jay-Z and Lil' Cease) Stretch Armstrong 4:17
3. "No Time" (featuring Puff Daddy)
Steven "Stevie J" Jordan 5:00
4. "Spend a Little Doe"  
Ski 5:35
5. "Take It!"       0:46
6. "Crush on You" (featuring Lil' Cease and The Notorious B.I.G.)
Andraeo "Fanatic" Heard 4:35
7. "Drugs" (featuring The Notorious B.I.G.)
Fabian Hamilton 4:20
8. "Scheamin'"       0:49
9. "Queen Bitch"  
  • Jones
  • Wallace
  • Carlos "6 July" Broady
  • Nashiem Myrick
  • 6 July
  • Myrick
3:17
10. "Dreams"  
  • Jones
  • Wallace
  • Daven "Prestige" Vanderpool
  • Reggie Andrews
Prestige 4:39
11. "M.A.F.I.A. Land"  
  • Jones
  • Wallace
  • Bert Kaempfert
  • Brent "Faraoh" Toussaint
  • Herbert Rehbein
  • Richard Ahlert
Faraoh 4:37
12. "We Don't Need It" (featuring Junior M.A.F.I.A.)
  • Wallace
  • Jones
  • Lloyd
  • Mark Richardson
  • Rayshaun Spain
Minnesota 4:10
13. "Not Tonight" (featuring Jermaine Dupri) Dupri 4:31
14. "Player Haters"       0:43
15. "Fuck You" (featuring Junior M.A.F.I.A.)
  • Jones
  • Spain
  • Chris "Cornbread" Cresco
  • Wallace
  • Rick Spain
  • Cornbread
  • Wallace
2:53
1997 reissue
No. Title Length
16. "Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)" (featuring Da Brat, Angie Martinez, Missy Elliott and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes) 4:24

Sample credits[edit]

  • "Big Momma Thang" contains a sample of Sylvester's "Was It Something I Said".
  • "No Time" contains a sample of Vicki Anderson's "Message from the Soul Sisters" and Lyn Collins's "Take Me Just As I Am" and The Notorious B.I.G.
  • "Crush On You" contains excerpts and a sample of Jeff Lorber's "Rain Dance" and Average White Band's "If I Ever Lose This Heaven"
  • "Drugs" contains a sample of Soul Mann & The Brothers "Bumpy's Lament".
  • "Queen Bitch" contains a sample of Roberta Flack's "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye".
  • "Dreams" contains a sample of Lyn Collins's "Think (About It)" and Jimi Hendrix's "Who Knows".
  • "M.A.F.I.A. Land" contains a sample of Bert Kaempfert's "Only a Fool".
  • "We Don't Need It" contains a sample of Lou Donaldson's "Ode to Billie Joe" and Shirley Murdock's "The One I Need".
  • "Not Tonight" contains a sample of George Benson's "Turn Your Love Around".
  • "Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)" contains a sample of Kool & the Gang's "Ladies Night".

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[24] 9
US Billboard 200[25] 11
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[26] 3

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[27] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hard Core album". LilKim.com. Archived from the original on August 29, 2000. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Mayfield, Geoff (July 15, 2000). "Between the Bullets". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 112 (29): 112. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Crime Doesn't Pay". Vibe (Vibe Media Group) 14 (5): 56. May 2006. ISSN 1070-4701. Retrieved August 22, 2014. With scanty clothing and the cachet that comes with having what many consider a classic album, Hard Core, Lil' Kim was one of the few female rappers whose consistent platinum sales showed that she could play with the big boys. 
  5. ^ "Legendary Hit Factory Studio Turning Into Condos". December 5, 2008. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Lil Kim Biography". Starpulse.com. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Why 70% Of Women Should Know Lil' Kim's Hardcore Album". The Source. July 11, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Hardcore: Lil Kim: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Lil Kim". Hip Hop Galaxy. March 14, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  11. ^ Birchmeier, Jason (November 12, 1996). "Hard Core - Lil' Kim". Allmusic. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  12. ^ Bernard, James (January 10, 1997). "Hardcore Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ Sawyer, Terry. "Lil' Kim: Hardcore". Popmatters. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Lil' Kim: Hardcore - Undeas Recording/Big Beat". Rapreviews.com. February 1, 2005. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  15. ^ Bwinning (November 12, 1996). "Hard Core : Lil Kim". Rhapsody. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Lil' Kim". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  17. ^ The new Rolling Stone album guide - Nathan Brackett, Christian David Hoard - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c "Lil' Kim - Hard Core CD Album". Cduniverse.com. November 12, 1996. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Lil' Kim: Biography". Rollingstone.com. April 23, 2009. Archived from the original on April 23, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Artist Chart History - Lil' Kim - Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  21. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (June 9, 2007). "A Bad Rap?". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 119 (23): 24. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  22. ^ "The Billboard 200 1997-10-18". Billboard. October 18, 1997. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  23. ^ RIAA searchable database - Sales, certification dates, ...
  24. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue {{{chartid}}}." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  25. ^ "Lil' Kim – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Lil' Kim. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  26. ^ "Lil' Kim – Chart history" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for Lil' Kim. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Lil' Kim – Hard Core". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 2, 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]