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Lil' Kim Biography

Last updated: 02/23/2014 07:32:30 AM

BORN: July 11, 1975

It's the year of Y2Kim, which is precisely why Brooklyn's own diminutive diva is massing her musical troops at the border - preparing for a no-prisoners hip hop takeover of the multi-platinum variety. Cue sonic boom and enter the long-awaited "THE NOTORIOUS K.I.M."

"I know it's been a long time since my last album, but Big's death has affected me in more ways than one," writes Kim in her album notes, by way of a message to her fans.

While it's true her solo output has yet to catch up with her fast-rising fame, that reality is about to change. Enter the second release from Kim's own Queen Bee label, an incendiary second solo album that finds her teaming with co-executive producer Sean "Puffy" Combs.

"Kim's a true artist," said Combs of Kim in Vibe. "She's a perfectionist."

The pursuit of that perfection began last year at Combs's own New York City studio, Daddy's House, and included input from such serious producer talents as Puffy's Bad Boy compadre/solo artist Mario "Yellowman" Winans, with Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Bad Boy studio team member Nasheim Myrick, Rockwilder, Younglord, Jerome "Knowbody" Foster, Carlos Broady, Kanye West, Fury For The New Jeru, Darren "Limitless" Henson, and Shaft.

The album action gets rolling in the Puffy-produced courtroom drama-styled "Lil' Drummer Boy," which finds Kim laying out her defense alongside Cee-Lo of Atlanta's famed Goodie Mob & Jersey hip hop guru Redman, and continues with the defiant autobiographical joint, "Custom Made (Give It To You)," and the new Brooklyn-centric hip hop theme song, "Who's Number One?"

Produced by the studio duo of Rated R (Coolio) & Mas, the slow rolling, flamenco-flavored head-anthem, "Suck My D**k," is Kim's bold new chapter in the book of feminine power. On the 007-meets-rap Rambo drama of the Puffy-produced "Revolution," Kim teams with the one-and-only Grace Jones and Junior M.A.F.I.A.-man/Queen Bee solo artist Lil' Cease for a true beat-driven cinemascape - in which she memorably answers Puffy with the true Kim-ism, "I'll be down in a minute, I'm drinking a Snapple."

"She was a ball of fire," Kim has said of her work with Jones. "I went to the Bahamas recently to finish part of my album, and she was there doing a show. She found me in the studio, and we partied for the whole weekend."

On the Knight Rider-flowing "How Many Licks," Kim delves into sexual politics amid lollipopping discussions of sweaty South of the Border antics, to which R&B Romeo vocalist Sisqo provides a pulsating melodic heart, and an undeniably funky soul. With the beat-bouncing, Caribbean-inspired "No Matter What They Say," Kim brings a smooth vocal delivery to the track's wildly hum-able chorus as she breaks down the details of the Queen Bee lifestyle - "I get paid just for laying in the shade/to take pictures with a glass of lemonade" - and purposefully takes on all would-be detractors. Saucy and salacious, "She Don't Love You" stands as Kim's declaration of total sexual supremacy over all comers. Yeah, Kim really knows what a girl wants.

In reprising her "HARD CORE" fave, Kim pairs with Puffy on "Queen Bitch Pt 2," a track that sends the artist one bold step forward to the front of the rap pack. Jumping up with a large measure of step-back bravado, "Don't Mess With Me" brings Pat Benetar into the ring as Kim kisses, reminisces, and then dismisses - telling all pretenders, "I'm that bitch!" Calling on her Junior M.A.F.I.A. comrades for a classic posse cut, she gets down into the thug mix with "Do What You Like," while both the Lil' Cease collaboration of "Off The Wall" and the high-flying "I'm Human" provide the album with some serious house party dancefloor diamonds. Kim shines alongside the sweet, soulful vocals of Mr. Carl Thomas on "Right Now," a record that resides within Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" in recounting a pulse-speeding inter-personal close encounter. Given a hand from new Queen Bee artist Lil' Shanice, Kim brings the proceedings to a more mellow flow for the reflective "Aunt Dot," a track about growing up and coping with those
cyclical pains.

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