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Lil' Kim (real name Kimberly Jones) is an American rapper and singer. She was born on July 11, 1975. Her stage name is derived from the fact that she stands at 4'11" tall.
She spent much of her adolescent life on the streets, until, under the tutelage of 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, she began her solo career with the album Hard Core, which was certified double platinum.
In 2005, Lil' Kim served a year long 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 spotlight in 2009 with an appearance on Dancing With the Stars, and has a fifth studio album in the works.
Lil' Kim's solo discography, as of 2005:
- Hard Core (1996)
- The Notorious K.I.M. (2000)
- La Bella Mafia (2003)
- The Naked Truth (2005)
She has also released a complilation album entitled The Dance Remixes, and two official mixtapes: Ms. G.O.A.T. and Black Friday.
In the media, she is well-known for her... somewhat skimpy and outrageous outfits (although she has toned this down in recent years) and her sexually explicit lyrics.
Tropes associated with Lil' Kim:
- Absolute Cleavage: Several of her outfits back in the day.
- All Women Are Prudes: Gloriously averted.
- Awesome Ego: She has one on her, but most people aren't put off by it and it actually adds to her badAssery.
- Beautiful All Along: She is a very beautiful woman under all the makeup she sometimes wears.
- Bilingual Bonus: She briefly raps in German in her collaboration with DJ Tomekk (who has since remixed for her), "Kimnotyze". She also briefly sings in Spanish in the second verse for "Lighters Up."
- Boastful Rap
- Cloudcuckoolander: To an extent in her earlier years, although not so much now. For example, when Ruby Wax interviewed her for one of her shows early in the Noughties, Kim was shown apparently attempting to contact aliens.
- Contemptible Cover: Arguably Black Friday (see it here). Not only does it show Kim with a bloodied sword after apparently decapitating Nicki Minaj (a Take That many thought went too far, but Your Mileage May Vary), but the image is a very obvious Photoshopping of an older image from the La Bella Mafia era. It was apparently fan-created.
- Cool Shades: She is fond of wearing them to public events and in photo shoots, on occasion.
- Creator Breakdown: Biggie's death was one of the contributing factors as to why her second album wasn't completed and released until four years after her first.
- A lot of people see Black Friday as a breakdown of a different sort. Kim seems really quite obsessed with the Nicki Minaj rivalry...
- Darker and Edgier: The Naked Truth is a lot angrier than her previous albums, due to her prison sentence.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: A few of her songs reference masturbation.
- Death by Woman Scorned
- Dream Team: The live collaboration with Cyndi Lauper (in which they both performed Cyndi's hit "Time After Time"), as well as her collaboration with 50 Cent on "Magic Stick". Collaborating with Grace Jones on "Revolution" certainly deserves a mention, too.
- Also, the remix to "Not Tonight" (usually referred to as "Ladies' Night") her first big hit after Biggie's death, was a Dream Team of some of the top female rappers at the time: Kim, Left Eye from TLC, Da Brat, Missy Elliott, and Angie Martinez.
- Then there is, of course, "Lady Marmalade", in which she collaborated with Pink, Christina Aguilera and Mya.
- Ethical Slut: In her appearance on Christina Aguilera's "Can't Hold Us Down".
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry
- Fetish Fuel Station Attendant
- Fur Bikini
- Gangsta Rap: "Queen Bitch", "M.A.F.I.A. Land", "Fuck You", "Revolution", "Thug Luv", others.
- Glam Rap: "Doing it Way Big", "Came Back For You", among others.
- Godiva Hair: See the image above.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. Hold On and subsequent interviews revealed that, in the early days of her career, she became pregnant with Biggie's child. She had the child aborted for the sake of her career (and apparently Biggie convinced her to go through with the abortion). Hold On has her downheartedly wondering how things would have turned out had she kept the child.
- Grief Song: "Hold On", a dedication to The Notorious B.I.G. and featuring close friend Mary J. Blige. The fact that she sounds like she's about to break down crying whilst rapping it really shows. And unlike Sean Combs' megahit "I'll Be Missing You", she actually wrote this herself.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: With Mary J. Blige.
- Hip Hop
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Her and Biggie.
- The Immodest Orgasm: "How Many Licks".
- Intentionally Awkward Title: "Suck My Dick"; "How Many Licks"; "Pissin' On 'Em"; "Pussy Callin'".
- Intercourse with You: Several of her songs, most notably "Not Tonight", "We Don't Need It", "How Many Licks", "Magic Stick", and "Kitty Box".
- Love Triangle: A much-publicised one, between her, The Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans.
- Money Song
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: She made "Can't Hold Us Down" with Christina Aguilera, criticizing the sexual double standards.
- Not to mention the fact that several people have criticised her for writing sexually explicit lyrics. She herself has pointed out that her lyrics are no more shocking than what several male rappers have put out.
- New Sound Album: Well, in a mild way. A fair few of the songs on The Notorious K.I.M. are pop/electro-influenced, alongside the more "traditional" hip-hop sound of other songs on the album.
- The Nineties: Is one of the defining hip-hop artists of the decade (though not necessarily for her music).
- Nipple-and-Dimed: She was a huge fan of pasties back in the day. Her most infamous (though not her most revealing) outfit to date was a purple catsuit with the right breast exposed, the nipple covered with a seashell pastie, which she wore to the 1999 MTV Awards.
- Older Than They Look
- Parental Issues: She has had issues with her father, who kicked her out onto the streets when she was young.
- Playing to The Fetishes: The video for "How Many Licks". A lot of her videos are outright Fetish Fuel.
- Pretty in Mink
- Rags to Riches
- Real Life Writes the Song: Several of her songs, including the incredibly honest and touching Biggie tribute, "Hold On".
- Really Gets Around: She paints herself as this several of her songs, although she has said in interviews that her in-song sex life is greatly and deliberately exaggerated from her real-life one, and also went on to say that this doesn't stop some listeners from believing that everything she raps about is true.
- The Rival: Foxy Brown and Nicki Minaj, and also Charli Baltimore to a lesser extent (although the latter was more a case of Unknown Rival than anything else, as Kim didn't seem to acknowledge Charli very much).
- Sexy Packaging: Most of her album covers.
- Signature Song: "Queen Bitch", "Not Tonight", "How Many Licks".
- The Smurfette Principle: She was the only female member of Junior M.A.F.I.A.
- Stripperiffic: She was rocking sequined dental floss when Lady Gaga was learning her division tables. This has been toned down in recent years, however.
- Take That: Her often-noted rivalry with fellow rapper and former friend Foxy Brown has led Kim to take potshots at her in a few of her songs, such as "Notorious K.I.M.", apparently in response to Foxy's bashing of her in some of her songs. In the same song, she also took a swipe at another rapper, Shyne, for essentially trying to imitate The Notorious B.I.G.. She also bashes former bandmates Junior M.A.F.I.A. a lot on her fourth album (a few of the members testified against her in court), and she also took a swipe at 50 Cent on the song "All Good" after they had a falling-out, although they have reportedly made peace with each other since then.
- Only the ongoing beef with Foxy can even compare to Kim and Nicki Minaj's vicious rivalry. Black Friday contains a lot of Nicki-bashing (including in the album cover, not to mention the title is a play on the latter's Pink Friday album), in response to the latter's song "Roman's Revenge" which was released as a diss record about Kim. Several of Kim's friends and fellow rappers think that the rivalry is pointless and saddening, and many critics and a large portion of Kim's fanbase thought that Black Friday was taking things just a bit too far. The rivalry has gotten worse ever since.
- Take That, Critics!: "Shut Up Bitch" is an entire song about this.
- True Companions: With Junior M.A.F.I.A., back in the day.
- Underboobs / Impossibly Low Neckline: Taken to extremes in some of her earlier public outfits.
- Unlimited Wardrobe
- Unusual Euphemism: Present in a few of her songs, notably "Magic Stick" and "Kitty Box" (in which the titles themselves are unusual euphemisms).
- We Used to Be Friends: The most well-known examples are Foxy Brown and Junior M.A.F.I.A., but she also now has bad blood with Keyshia Cole after they worked together a few years previously. Flip-flopped with 50 Cent - they didn't start out on the best of terms, but eventually recorded a song together, before falling out and making up again.
- Woman Scorned: "Don't Mess With Me".