Lil’ Kim Is Big News

Posted in MusicWorld on August 31, 2000 by

She may be known as Lil’ Kim, but the diminutive hip-hopper is definitely big news with the release of The Notorious K.I.M., her long-awaited second album. With her sassy, sexy attitude and no-hold-barred raps, Lil’ Kim, born Kimberly Denise Jones, is definitely hip hop’s current “It Girl.”

As the title to her new album implies, the disc includes a tribute to her friend and mentor Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G., who was shot to death in 1997. “We lived on the same block in Brooklyn,” says Kim. “I always thought he was cute, and when I first started talking to him, I felt like I’d known him for years. I was working at Bloomingdales, and friends of mine said to him, ‘You know, Kim knows how to rap.’ He was like, ‘Please! She’s too cute to know how to rap’.” But when Smalls included her in his Brooklyn rap collective Junior M.A.F.I.A. (Junior Masters At Finding Intelligent Attitudes), Kim seized the moment like the star she’s become. The group earned a gold record for their “Player’s Anthem” single, followed by platinum awards for the “Get Money” single and Conspiracy album. That set the stage for Kim’s own 1996 album Hard Core, which racked up platinum sales for the Undeas/Big Beat/Atlantic release. Kim’s uninhibited sexuality perked up listener’s ears, but to Lil’ Kim, it’s no big deal. “I was just being myself,” she says. “Now there are so many women out there doing what I did.” The Notorious K.I.M. heats up the mix further. She salutes her late pal Biggie Smalls on “Hold On,” which features Mary J. Blige. Though Kim’s known to be as tough as the guys, cutting that rap was heart wrenching. “I could only get through it once,” she explains. “I would always break down and cry.” She jams on other tracks with everyone from Grace Jones to Puff Daddy, who also acts as the album’s executive co-producer. Meanwhile, she’s started her own record label, Queen Bee, racked up fashion endorsements from MAC Cosmetics, Candie’s shoes and Iceberg jeans, and made her acting debuts in film (She’s All That) and television (VIP). It all adds up to Lil’ Kim’s budding status as a cultural icon, albeit one with a streetwise, Bedford-Stuyvesant-bred edge. “I take bits and pieces from everybody,” she says of her personal style. “I’ve studied the fashion of women who were beautiful and glamorous: Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Dandridge, Millie Jackson, Tina Turner, Eartha Kitt, Josephine Baker, even Brooke Shields.” Yet what she makes it all into is definitely Lil’ Kim Ultimately, her success feels like destiny for the multi-talented rapper. “I think God has a plan for me,” she concludes. “There are some people who still don’t understand. But I know by the end of my fulfillment, they will.”


The Weekly

Each week, Learn, Listen, Watch, Discover and Share with BMI! From must-see videos, to creative inspiration and dynamic playlists we’re excited about, BMI’s The Weekly is dedicated to delivering specially curated content designed for music creators and music fans alike!

Join BMI Live

BMI Live
Back to Top