Kimberly Denise Jones, we all have come to know as Lil’ Kim, was born on this very day 37 years ago.
Before becoming one the most successful female emcees of our time, Jones was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of the New York City borough Brooklyn to parents Linwood Jones and Ruby Mae. At the age of 9, her parents separated, and her father raised her until he expelled her from home when she was a teenager. Thus, she lived with her friends and even on the streets. While struggling through her personal life, Kim met The Notorious B.I.G., 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.
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, her solo debut album Hard Core was released. Hard Core was certified double platinum and spawned three consecutive #1 rap hits that included: “No Time” “Not Tonight (Ladies Night remix)” and “Crush on You”, a record for a female rapper. Her following albums, The Notorious K.I.M. (2000) and La Bella Mafia (2003), both were certified platinum by the RIAA, making Kim the only female rapper besides Missy Elliott to have at least 3 platinum albums. Kim solidified her star power in 2001, when “Lady Marmalade”, a song Kim was featured on, went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. That made her the first female rapper to earn a #1 on that chart.
Although Kim has gained much notoriety, as of late, with her continuing beef with rapper Nicki Minaj and other female artists, you cannot deny the impact she has had on hip hop and for that today we salute her! Happy birthday Kim!