Lil Kim Reflects On Career / Opens Up On Label Complications & Female Rappers

Published: Sunday 6th Apr 2014 by David

As the forthcoming arrival of her first child sees her pen a new chapter in her life’s story, Lil Kim takes a journey to the past this month, doing so alongside ‘Billboard.’

For, as to celebrate the positive impact she made on pushing Rap music to the forefront of Pop culture in her prime, the publication caught up with the icon to reflect on her career, assessing her classic albums with the benefit of hindsight and the current line-up of female rappers.

Wise words from the ‘Espacio’ siren below…

On her style:

“I tend to be dubbed as a trendsetter. My style was always different. Before I got into the industry, I was super sexy. I’ve always been super sexy and feminine. Biggie’s partner from the label, Un (Lance ‘Un’ Rivera) knew the essence of being fly. He said, ‘I don’t want to change her image.’ He wanted to make me more sexy and put me in mink coats. They’d spend their own money. My record company didn’t understand a female rapper being sexy. They thought I needed to look like MC Lyte, wear sweat suits and all that.”

On ‘Hard Core‘ :

“There were a lot of things going on during the making of the album that it became stressful at times: Some personal [and] some business. But it was mostly fun. I got to see something that I created. And I was young, people don’t get it. I came into the industry as a baby. I was 17-years-old. By the time we were signing our contract for Junior M.A.F.I.A., I was barely turning 18.My mom wasn’t really feeling me doing the music thing, and I thought I had to bring her in to sign for me but I literally just turned 18 so I didn’t need her to. I was able to sign my own contract.”

On ‘Notorious K.I.M”:

 Me and Puffy had our own ideas for the album. At that time, Puff was my manager; He was everything actually. Bad Boy was my label cause Puffy was my manager but you can basically say that Bad Boy and Atlantic [Records] shared me. Atlantic didn’t really want to live up to their part of the deal because they didn’t understand the direction that me and Puffy wanted to go. Me and Puffy had to get creative with a lot of the music. We gave them the first three tracks we wanted to be singles and they said, ‘We don’t want to support our half of it with this.’ Puffy was very credible so I said, ‘Why don’t you think he knows what he’s doing?’ I totally trusted him. But, they kept saying no. We ended up going with ‘No Matter What They Say.’ That definitely wasn’t me and Puff’s choice as the first single. But Puffy is a business man, so we compromised. We knew we had singles but Atlantic didn’t see our vision. I think our word should have meant more but we wanted their support.”

“We met up with Grace Jones in the Bahamas. Puff had this studio home, and he took everyone down there who was working on an album: Mase, me [and] Black Rob. We saw her down there. She knew about me and I couldn’t believe it. She was reciting my raps to me. She was on it. Me and Puffy were like, ‘Let’s put her on something.'”

“Some changes were cause of Atlantic. We didn’t have a lot of clearance issues but we did have some. Puffy did what he was supposed to.”
The RuPaul song didn’t make it. It was a great song, I loved it.. It was Called ‘Bad Girl’. I always represent for my rainbow kids. I think the issues came in at the last minute; It got cleared but it happened last minute. Puff said we should save it for another album. ‘Til this day RuPaul and I are best friends. I’m actually supposed to do his show soon. I was supposed to do it before the bundle of joy came so we decided to wait. Hopefully we can do the song up and use it on his show.”

On ‘Magic Stick’:

“That was one of my favourite records I ever made. That song has a now and then feel. You can play that five or ten years from now. A lot of songs don’t have that. I was blessed to have and be a part of those type of songs. Some people I have great chemistry [with].I have great chemistry with 50 Cent. I also have great chemistry Missy Elliott and Mary J. Blige.”

When quizzed on ‘The Naked Truth‘:

“That album was a bit more personal because of what I was going through. I was a bit more angry. I felt betrayed by so many people at the time. I wanted to get so much aggression out. My record label decided that’s how I should go that route and have it be hard core. But I didn’t totally agree.”

“There’s a song called ‘Kitty Box,’ which was big among my immediate fans and my gay fans but my record label didn’t get it. Me, personally, [thought] that should have been one of my singles. They didn’t get how music was going. ‘Kitty Box’ sounds like a lot of the stuff that’s out now. I was ahead of my time. But again, my record label didn’t get it.”

“We were are all for ‘Lighters Up.’ ‘Lighters Up,’ to me, was so nice. I think if they would’ve pushed more we could have been further. But the record label got comfortable with the name Lil’ Kim selling itself. But I get it, they’re not going to gamble on things they don’t understand.”

“There was pressure, but I breezed through this album faster than other albums cause I had to. I didn’t have time. Puff says I work better under pressure. I guess it’s me taking over when I know I have to. Going into the studio was my relief for everything else that I was going through; I was getting ready to go away.”

“I had discrepancies. I had a couple of other choices for the second single. ‘Kitty Box’ would have been a single when I came home or… It would have been a single. No matter what I was going through, there was no doubt that I was still a sex symbol. ‘Kitty Box’ was a sexy record.”

On female Rappers:

“I think females make really great music and they need to be acknowledged. We don’t get the acknowledgement that men get. Sometimes we don’t get the acknowledgment that men get and we sell more records. Sometimes we don’t get the same push as male artists.”


Your thoughts?

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  1. Truth tea (take a sip) April 6, 2014

    All of Kim’s album are good!
    She has one of the most solid discographies for any female rapper.

  2. The real Truth Tea April 6, 2014

    Words cannot express how much I LOVE Lil Kim, she is a living Legend, her impact on rap cannot be denied, she was the first ever female rap s** symbol (other than Salt N Pepa), but Kim took it furthur with her style and image and contreversial lyrics, i just love her, and I really like that young acts like Miley Cyrus show her respect and put her up as an influence! I wish Female rappers would do the same for her as Kim always paid tribute to all of her favourite female artist by constantly having them cameo in her videos, I saw her in concert in London recently and she was EPIC, in an industry that chews artist up and spits them out (especially females) despite not having a major record deal for many years Kim has still managed to stay relevant and works so damn hard! I wish her nothing but success in the future xx

  3. Stephy April 6, 2014

    Her albums are very good. But that face of hers is… *Sighs*

    • Kim Kardashian Stan April 6, 2014

      Mariahs face is no better.

  4. Kim Kardashian Stan April 6, 2014

    Shes underrated.

  5. Realest April 6, 2014

    This is from they had a huge article on female rappers like a week of two ago. So how is it you YOU caught up with lil Kim again? I’ll wait.

    But anyway, all corny ass THIRSTY need for hits aside, Kim’s albums speak for themselves! #Legend

  6. FAF April 6, 2014

    how is kim underrated when they attribute her with everything females do (when its not true?) ppl dont talk about missy & lauryn’s influence enough.. DA brat & Queen Latifah, even!

    • Antonio April 6, 2014

      @FAF what world do you live in. Kim, Missy, Fixy, Queen, Lyte and Lauryn are regarded as the greatest female rappers ever. Tbh, they have had the most impact. They have the most classic albums and iconic singles. They were the first female rappers to pretty much do anything. The only reason Kim gets mentioned more than them now is because she’s really the only one other than Trina who’s still touring and releasing music from the group who emerged during the 90s

      • FAF April 6, 2014

        Umm ppl do not give Foxy props! What world do you live in? Despite the fact she rapped patois and hardcore hiphop and was a TRUE hip-hop feminist. .They gave kim all the glory

      • Iconic Iggy April 6, 2014

        Foxy doesn’t get props because she came after Kim and used the same formula. No different then how Britney gets credited for the Bubble Gum pop era revival and not Christina Aguilera. Kim gets alot of props because all female rappers today focus on fashion and their style. Kim was really the first to do that with top designer clothes. More females follow in her steps then many other female MCs. Now that female rappers are getting more creative, you see alot of the newer girls crediting Missy.

  7. Navy Commander(AUBRIH) April 6, 2014

    Puff diddy aka the career killer

  8. Barb babe April 6, 2014

    Love her… not

  9. Yea ok April 6, 2014

    Kim was the first female rapper I ever listened to. My ex at the time would play her music non stop. From then on I’ve loved her. I can recite any song at any time no problem.

    Kim will always be it for me. She truly was a game changer. To this day I put on her CDs while in house and It takes me back to the late 90s early 2000s when I didn’t have a care in the world.

    I also think being gay she helped me gain a confidence in who I was by being unapologetic about who she was.

  10. Fedro April 6, 2014

    Kim has impact the rap industry period not just female rap. I wish she would just release this mixtape and be happy as new mom.

  11. GREEKGOD April 6, 2014

    Who’s Peobo Bryson?

  12. Kyle April 6, 2014

    I love Lil’ Kim and she has some great tracks but why is she so hung up on “Kitty Box”!? Lol, that song was so stupid and I personally think it didn’t belong on “The Naked Truth.” I think “La Bella Mafia” is a bit underrated. That album was great.

    • Frank white April 6, 2014

      My favorite album by her .. Her swag was on 100 throughout the whole album !!

  13. The Truth April 6, 2014

    Lil Kim is a legend. What she has done in the music industry is phenomenal and can never be matched. I don’t think she is underrated. I think the industry underrated female rappers. They work them to death then spit them out. If you’re anything like Kim you won’t go out without a fight.

  14. cocobutta April 6, 2014


  15. Still I Rise! April 6, 2014

    Look how delusional Lil Kim is y’all, The girl actually thinks “Kitty Box” was a hit. Lmao… I had no idea Lil Kim was this damn delusional until she started beefing with Nicki. Saying Kitty Box sounds like the music that’s out now only proves how pressedT she is to be relevant in todays music industry lol. Lil Kim went from being called the “female Biggie” to now rapping like the “female 50 Tyson” Where’s her ghostwriters? She’s so delusional she doesn’t even realize every time she drops a song (that she wrote) it proves more and more that she was never the female rapper that people thought she was. Like for example, Wtf was P*ssin On Em? How Kim get shat on by Nicki’s Did It On Em song then she remix the song and call it P*ssin on em? Don’t she know that being sh*tted on is way worse than being p*ssed on? I mean if Nicki sh*tted on YOU wouldn’t you sh*t back on her? Poor delusional Lil Kim her response was p*ssin on em O_O Lmao… And you TeamKim mofo’s are NOT true fans of Kim cause y’all were riding with that bullsh*t! Kim and her fans are so delusional they have no idea that Did It On Em, Roman’s Revenge and the Tragedy snippet were the songs that put Kim’s rap career in an unsealed coffin until Nicki’s mogul status put the final nail in the coffin and Kim has been struggling and unable to get up out that coffin ever since. The struggle is real y’all!!

    • Iconic Iggy April 6, 2014

      Where does it say she thought Kitty Box was a hit? If I remember correctly, Kim had her biggest tour after the Nicki beef and it got her back in the studio (for what it’s worth). I’m not defending the music she put out recently, but you cant deny her legacy and impact. No new artist will take that from her.

    • Touché April 6, 2014

      You should really change your name to ‘Still I fall!’. You accomplished absolutely nothing with that delusional essay except to show how pressed you truly are. Lil kim’s legcay will not be tarnished no matter how hard people try to discredit her. She had her time and made her mark. Also not you bringing up Nicki. It’s clear you’re a barb by the way you broke down that part about Kim and Onika. Barbs always like to make themselves look foolish every chance they get. Let that old feud go and move on already.

      • Touché April 6, 2014


  16. Iconic Iggy April 6, 2014

    La Bella Mafia and Notorious K.I.M are my favorite Kim albums but Naked Truth and Hard Core are her best quality wise. Kim has a solid catalog and her impact/legacy is undeniable.

  17. CIARA April 6, 2014


    • Honey Boo Boo April 7, 2014

      You know that living legend who’s first album has sold more than your fave’s last 5

  18. Roman Minaj April 7, 2014

    #ThePinkPrint will be #legendary

    -watches as people get pissed off-

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