Lil' Kim Essentials

Lil' Kim Essentials

Lil' Kim epitomized the "sex sells" adage in hip-hop. She first gained notoriety as part of The Notorious B.I.G.-helmed Junior M.A.F.I.A. With mentor Biggie writing her lyrics, Kim quickly gained a buzz for delivering provocative lyrics on standout hit singles “Get Money” and “Player's Anthem.” Her 1996 debut, Hardcore—released a week before the debut of like-minded Foxy Brown—sold over two million copies and changed the complexion of female MCs. Post-Kim, female performers put a heavy emphasis on sexually-charged content. Kim was arguably the biggest female MC in hip-hop following Lauryn Hill's hiatus from music. Her appearance on Moulin Rouge's “Lady Marmalade” alongside Pink, Mya, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott made her part of pop's elite. She released two more platinum LPs in the aughts—2000's The Notorious K.I.M. and 2003's La Bella Mafia—but her career was derailed when she was sentenced to a year in prison for perjury in 2005.

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