Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
A native of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Lil' Kim was thrown out of the house by her father as a teen. She lived with friends and sometimes on the streets. It wasn't long before she and her rhyming talent came to the attention of Biggie Smalls, who helped her become a member of the Junior M.A.F.I.A. Lil' Kim played a key role in the group's hit debut single, “Player's Anthem.” For her solo debut album, she worked with a variety of producers, including Sean "Puffy" Combs, High Class, and Jermaine Dupri. Entitled Hard Core (1996) the album reached No. 11 in the pop charts, helped by a marketing campaign that featured Lil' Kim clad in a bikini and furs. The first single from the album, “No Time,” a duet with Sean "Puffy" Combs, became a number one rap single. Notorious K.I.M. followed in 2000 and La Bella Mafia in 2003. Lil' Kim's sexually explicit lyrics have broken new ground for female rappers. In July 2005, Lil' Kim was sentenced to 366 days in prison for perjury concerning a shooting. The Naked Truth debuted at Billboard's number 6 in Sept. 2005. She was released from prison in June 2006.