#LILKIMFACTS #3 TOP FEMALE RAPPER
LIL KIM was born Kimberly Jones she raised in Brooklyn, New York, living much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from home. In her teens, Jones would freestyle rap, heavily influenced by actress/singer Diana Ross, and fellow female hip-hop artists like MC Lyte and The Lady of Rage. Performing a freestyle rap for The Notorious B.I.G. got her music career started in 1995 with his group Junior M.A.F.I.A., whose debut album Conspiracy generated three hit singles.
Jones was born in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of the New York City borough Brooklyn.
Her parents are Linwood Jones and Ruby Jones (now Ruby Jones-Mitchell).
At the age of 9, her parents separated, and her father raised her until he expelled her from home when she was a teenager. She lived with her friends and on the street. While struggling through her personal life, Jones met The Notorious B.I.G. (real name Christopher Wallace), who was a key figure in both her personal and artistic life, particularly when Wallace had gained popularity and influence through his relationship with Bad Boy Records (which belonged to P-Diddy). Jones attended Sarah J. Hale Vocational High School for two and a half years. Many of her friends also went there and she would often skip school to hang out with them. Since her school work wasn’t being completed, the decision was made for her to transfer to Brooklyn College Academy to finish her remaining year and half of school. It was the same school that fellow rappers Nas and Foxy Brown also 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 was only 19 at the time.
In her teens, Jones began dating Shawn Powell. The pair met at the Empire Roller Skating rink in Brooklyn. After a couple of months of seeing each other, Powell was arrested for robbery and was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. Jones and Powell continued their relationship with Jones visiting frequently and also kept in touch by writing letters to each other. The couple also became engaged while he was incarcerated. During this time was when Jones met Christopher Wallace, and with wanting to focus on starting her rap career the engagement was eventually called off and the couple split. Shortly after meeting Wallace, Jones had an on and off relationship with him up until his death in 1997.
On July 23, 1996, Jones was arrested for possession of marijuana after police raided the Teaneck, New Jersey home of Wallace. The arrest came after police smelt marijuana inside the home when they went to ask for someone to move an illegally parked car. Jones denied she was smoking, claiming she was “upstairs all day sleeping”.
That same year, during the recording of her debut album, “Hard Core”, Jones fell pregnant with Wallace’s child. Jones never made it public until 1999 during an interview with The Source. Jones decided not to keep the baby, telling The Source “I already knew the kind of relationship that Biggie and I had, and I knew that [having a child] was something that couldn’t take place…” Wallace called Jones three days before his death and told her he loved her.
On March 17, 1999, Teaneck police issued an arrest warrant after Jones failed to turn up to court dates stemming from her 1996 arrest. The warrant wasn’t a top priority for police and wasn’t made public until September, 2003, after the story was published online by The Smoking Gun. Jones was later removed from Teaneck’s wanted list in October, 2003, after $350 in bail was posted on her behalf.
Jones’ attorney told reporters that she didn’t appear in court as she believed the case had been resolved.
In 2002, Jones started dating Damion “World” Hardy, the couple split in 2003. It was during this time that Jones had been a victim of physical abuse. Telling The Source in 2004 that she had suffered from black eyes, bloody lips, blood clots and even had to have an MRI. Jones also stated how she had to have multiple nose jobs due to being punched.
See also: Hip hop rivalry
Once high school friends, Jones and Foxy Brown originally remained close despite becoming associates of clashing hip-hop groups Junior M.A.F.I.A. and The Firm, respectively.
However, their first dispute developed after both of their debut studio albums were scheduled for release a week apart in November 1996. Media outlets additionally noted similarities between the sleeve covers of Jones’ Hard Core and Brown’s Ill Na Na, where the two were shown wearing the same outfit.
In 1997, the feud led to the deterioration of their friendship, and also resulted in the cancellation of a collaborative album Thelma & Louise. Brown noted that the breakdown of their relationship was influenced by their conflicting entourages.They first attempted a reconciliation in 1998 after Jones called Brown and her mother after the two were held at gunpoint during a house burglary.
Jones along with Junior M.A.F.I.A. and Bad Boy Records artist Shyne were caught up in a quarrel when Shyne was being compared to the Notorious B.I.G.. Junior M.A.F.I.A. felt Shyne was trying to exploit the late rapper. Jones directed attacks towards Shyne on The Notorious K.I.M.s title track, rapping “Everybody wanna shine off of BIG/ Get it, Shyne tryna sound like him when they rhyme”. Shyne responded: “Me going back and forth with a woman? That’s not gangster.”
In 2000, Jones addressed Shyne, saying “he’s bad energy, he’s negative energy, and he’s just nothing I want to be a part of.”
Jones has been embroiled in a feud with rapper Nicki Minaj since she gained her breakthrough success with Pink Friday. With Jones and critics noticing resemblances with her on the Sucka Free mixtape, Jones accused Minaj of copying her image saying, “If you are going to steal my swag, you gonna have to pay. Something gotta give. You help me, I help you. That’s how it goes to me.” Minaj’s single “Roman’s Revenge” with Eminem was believed by critics to be a response to Jones’ comments, although she later denied this, she responded to the situation in an interview on The Angie Martinez show saying “She picked a fight with Foxy, then she picked a fight with Eve, then she picked a fight with Remy, then it was Mrs. Wallace, then it was Nicki Minaj,” said Minaj. “Every time you in the news, it’s ’cause you gettin’ at somebody! Where’s your music? Put your music out, and when I see your name on Billboard, that’s when I’ll respond to you. Other than that, goodbye. It’s Barbie, bitch.”
Jones reignited the feud following the release of her mixtape Black Friday, an album that directly referenced Nicki Minaj, via her debut album title and songs such as “Did It On’em” (that became “Pissin’ On’em”); and with artwork that showed Jones decapitating Minaj with a sword.
A fragment of Minaj’s diss track”Tragedy” was released online in April 2011, featuring lyrics “Pink Friday, Eminem, 8 Mile/ It must hurt to sell your album on PayPal.”
Following the release of Minaj’s second album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, critics suggested that the tracks “Stupid Hoe” may have contained attacks at Jones. Jones later suggested in an interview with 105’s Breakfast Club that the song “Automatic” from Minaj’s second album was similar to her unreleased material, also calling Minaj “obnoxious” and “catty”.
The feud has drew attention from various other recording artists and rappers. Minaj’s labelmate and rapper, Drake said “[he] didn’t give a fuck what Lil’ Kim or nobody else is talking about,” anointing Minaj the best female rapper. 50 Cent commented on the situation in an online interview with Power 98.3 FM remarking, “It’s obvious … she [Minaj] was inspired by some of Kim’s [style]. But that’s not bad. There’s not a whole lot of female artists that you can make reference to, so you’ll see those little influences even stronger. I think she’s hot—I think she’s got a good little thing going right now, as far as Nicki Minaj is concerned.” Diddy spoke of his love and respect for Jones, attributing his personal success, in part, to her, however he defended working with Minaj stating that “I wouldn’t be around Nicki if I ever heard anything negative said about Kim. I’ve never heard anything like that.” Mary J. Blige commented on the rivalry, saying, “Kim is my friend and I love and respect Nicki, just met her and got to know the young lady and she’s a sweetheart.”, adding that the feud had arisen because of “crews” behind it.
#LILKIMFACTS #3 TOP FEMALE RAPPER
In the summer of 2011, Jones began recording material for her fifth studio album, as a restriction banning her from releasing new material as a result of her settlement with Trackmasters was lifted.