Kimberly Denise Jones, better known by her stage name Lil’ Kim, is an American rapper who rose to fame in the mid 1990s as a member of the hip-hop group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Widely considered one of the greatest female rappers of all time, she has remained in the public spotlight after all these years through her music—even after parting ways with her record label to work independently—and her activism for causes such as HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness and violence against women. Read More >
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Kim spent much of her adolescence on the streets after her father expelled her from their home. When word that she could rhyme got to The Notorious B.I.G., he made her freestyle for him on the spot and, impressed with her performance, launched her music career in 1995 with Junior M.A.F.I.A., whose debut album, Conspiracy, generated three hit singles. In 1996, Kim’s solo debut album, Hard Core, was certified double platinum and spawned three consecutive #1 rap hits: “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. and La Bella Mafia—were both certified platinum by the RIAA, making Kim the only female rapper besides Missy Elliott to have at least three platinum albums so far. Kim solidified her star power in 2001 when "Lady Marmalade"—a song featuring Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink, and Lil’ Kim—went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female rapper to have a #1 hit on that chart.
A dedicated philanthropist, Kim embarked on a promo tour in support of the MAC AIDS Fund, which helps people who are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, in conjunction with the release of her second studio album, The Notorious K.I.M., in 2000. Her endorsement for MAC with Mary J. Blige would go on to raise $4 million for the fund. In October 2001, along with several other popular recording artists, Kim released an R&B mix of the song “What's Going On” under the name “Artists Against AIDS Worldwide,” with proceeds going to AIDS programs around the globe. In 2004, she started her own foundation called Lil' Kim Cares, which raises funds, resources, and awareness for national programs that assist with homelessness, HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, transitional living, child neglect, and violence against women.
In 2005, Kim released her fourth album, The Naked Truth, which debuted at #6 on the Billboard Hot 200, giving Kim her third “Top 10” debut on the charts. In 2008, she parted ways with Atlantic Records, choosing to release future projects independently. Her first mixtape, Ms. G.O.A.T.—an acronym for “greatest of all time”—has been called a representation of Kim’s return to the streets. Read Less ^