Lil’ Kim Women’s T-Shirt
Finally, a way to show your respect for some of the greatest icons, legends and pioneers that paved the way past and present. Rock this gear in style and bring back the moments that made you, memories they gave you and/or lessons they taught you. Scroll down for a history lesson with some of our favorite clips.
Welcome to the Respect Due family the Lil’ Kim! We salute you.
- 4.2 oz., 100% airlume combed and ringspun cotton
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- shoulder taping
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The evolution of Lil’ Kim (1993-2018)
Kimberly Denise Jones (born July 11, 1974 or 1975), known professionally as Lil’ Kim, is an American rapper and songwriter. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she lived much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from home. In her teens, Jones would freestyle rap, influenced by fellow female hip hop artists like MC Lyte and The Lady of Rage. In 1994, she was discovered by fellow rapper The Notorious B.I.G., who invited her to join his group Junior M.A.F.I.A.; their debut album, Conspiracy, generated two top 20 singles in the United States and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Lil’ Kim’s debut studio album, Hard Core (1996), was certified double platinum, has since sold more than 6 million copies worldwide, and spawned three successful singles: “No Time“, “Not Tonight (Ladies Night)“, and “Crush on You“. Her following albums, The Notorious K.I.M. (2000) and La Bella Mafia (2003), were also certified platinum, making her the only female rapper besides Missy Elliott and Nicki Minaj to have at least three platinum-certified studio albums. In 2001, she was featured on the single “Lady Marmalade” (a remake of the 1974 hit single of the same name, originally recorded by LaBelle), alongside Mýa, Pink, and Christina Aguilera, which topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. 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. Other notable singles from this period include “The Jump Off” and “Magic Stick“, the latter of which reached number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
In 2005, Lil’ Kim served a one-year 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 to positive reviews from critics; it remains the only album by a female rapper to be rated five mics out of five by The Source. A reality series covering her sentence, Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown, premiered on BET in 2006. She released her first mixtape, Ms. G.O.A.T., in 2008 and returned to the public eye in 2009 with an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Throughout the 2010s, she continued to release music and perform sporadically, collaborating with artists such as Faith Evans, Remy Ma, and Fabolous. Her fifth studio album, 9, was released in 2019.
Lil’ Kim has sold more than 15 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide. Her songs “No Time”, “Big Momma Thang”, and “Not Tonight (Ladies Night)” were each listed on Complex‘s list of the 50 Best Rap Songs By Women. In 2012, Lil’ Kim was listed on VH1‘s 100 Greatest Women In Music list at number 45, the second highest position for a solo female hip-hop artist. Lil’ Kim was ranked as one of the top 50 greatest MCs of all time in Kool Moe Dee‘s 2003 book, There’s a God on the Mic. Aside from music, Lil’ Kim is also known for her risk-taking and luxurious approach to fashion that inspired many artists; she has been cited as a fashion icon.
Lil’ Kim – Crush On You ft. Lil’ Cease
Early life and career beginnings
Jones was born in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, the second child of Linwood Jones, a former U.S. Marine, and Ruby Jones (later Ruby Jones-Mitchell). She has one older brother named Christopher As a child, Jones attended Queen of All Saints Elementary School in Brooklyn. At the age of 9, her parents separated, and Jones was raised by her father, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship. After being kicked out of her house by her father, Jones dropped out of high school and began living out on the streets.
As a teenager, Jones met Christopher Wallace, known professionally as The Notorious B.I.G., who was a key figure in both her personal and artistic life, particularly after Wallace gained popularity and influence through his relationship with Bad Boy Records, founded by Sean “Puffy” Combs. Jones attended Sarah J. Hale Vocational High School for two and a half years. Many of her friends also went there, and they would all often skip school to hang out with each other. Since she was not completing her school work, the decision was made for her to transfer to Brooklyn College Academy to finish her remaining year and half of high school. This was the same school that 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 Jones, who adopted the stage name Lil’ Kim and was 19 at the time. The group’s album, Conspiracy, was released to mediocre reviews and moderate sales on August 29, 1995 but debuted at number eight on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 69,000 copies in its first week of release. Wallace wrote and ghostwrote most of the album’s material. Three hit singles came from Conspiracy: “Player’s Anthem“, “I Need You Tonight“, and “Get Money“. The RIAA certified Conspiracy gold on December 6, 1995. “Player’s Anthem” and “Get Money” were certified gold and platinum respectively. Lil’ Kim’s increasing popularity as a member of Junior M.A.F.I.A. allowed her to start a solo career shortly after the Conspiracy album was released, and she began working on what would become her debut album Hard Core by late 1995.
1996–2002: Hard Core and The Notorious K.I.M.
After a year with Junior M.A.F.I.A., Lil’ Kim began her 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 number 11 on the Billboard 200, the highest debut for a female rap album at that time, and number 3 on Billboard‘s Top R&B Albums, selling 78,000 copies in its first week of release and has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. 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 Combs, reached the top spot of the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart and was certified gold by the RIAA. The following single was “Crush on You“, a remixed version of the track that appeared on Hard Core. 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 with the song peaking at 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. 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 Lil’ Kim’s lyrics, and labeling them “gangsta porno rap”. In 1997, Lil’ Kim promoted Hard Core by performing on P. Diddy’s “No Way Out” tour. The tour continued through 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, Lil’ Kim continued working 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 Candie’s, Versace, Iceberg, and Baby Phat.
On June 27, 2000, Lil’ 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 number 4 on the Billboard 200 and number 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, four weeks after its release. It was on this LP that the well-known hip-hop feud between Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown escalated. 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 number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. The song also went to number 1 in 50 countries around the world. This was a big accomplishment for female rap, as well as for Lil’ Kim, who scored her first number 1 Hot 100 hit and became the second solo female rapper in history to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. “Lady Marmalade” also garnered Lil’ Kim her first Grammy Award. 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 Lil’ Kim’s third consecutive top 10 hit in Germany after her number 5 hit “Lady Marmalade”.
In 2002, 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. Lil’ Kim released the 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.
2003–2005: La Bella Mafia and legal problems
On March 4, 2003, Lil’ 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 Lil’ 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 two on the Billboard Hot 100, staying there for three weeks. The song did not had a commercial release or a music video, but was successful due to high radio airplay, peaking at number one on the Billboard 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 the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album was certified platinum in the US, selling over 1.1 million copies. Lil’ Kim promoted the album with a string of concerts, which also featured DMX and Nas. Lil’ 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”. Lil’ Kim herself was a guest speaker at the school. Professor Thomas considered Lil’ 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. Lil’ Kim provided voice-overs for her part in the storyline, where the player may fight an opponent to have Lil’ Kim as their girlfriend. In 2004, Lil’ 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 Lil’ Kim was featured on the remix of “Naughty Girl” by Beyoncé. In December 2004, Lil’ 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 Lil’ Kim grew up. The show did not make it to air.
On March 17, 2005, Lil’ 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 pleaded guilty to gun charges. Jackson was sentenced 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, Lil’ Kim was sentenced to one year 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. Lil’ Kim, Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Register #56198-054, was released from BOP supervision on August 2, 2006.
Lil’ Kim feat. Puff Daddy – No Time (1996) HQ
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Lil Kim, Junior M.A.F.I.A. & More Shut Down The Stage With Classic Hits! | Hip Hop Awards ‘19
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