On July 11 Lil’ Kim was born…

On July 11, 1974 Lil’ Kim was born.

Real name Kimberly Denise Jones and hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Lil’ Kim is best known as one of the most successful female hip-hop artists of all time, starting her career alongside The Notorious B.I.G. and his group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Lil’ Kim is often known for her brash approach in hip-hop, from her sexually charged lyrics (e.g. “How Many Licks” — one of her signature songs), to her ability to freestyle, as well as her fashion style.

“How Many Licks” by Lil’ Kim:

Lil’ Kim is heavily considered a pioneer for female rappers due to essentially doing everything a man in hip-hop would do (i.e. objectify sex), and do it herself, proving that female rappers can go head-to-head with the male rappers who dominate the hip-hop scene. Besides Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim is the only female rapper to have at least three platinum albums, with some of her hit songs including but not limited to: “Not Tonight (Ladies Night),” “No Time,” “Lighters Up,” “Jump Off,” and the Grammy-winning remake and worldwide number-one hit “Lady Marmalade” alongside Christina Aguilera, Mya, and Pink. 

Lil' Kim, Pink, Mya, and Christina Aguilera on set on the music video

Lil’ Kim, Pink, Mya, and Christina Aguilera on set for the music video “Lady Marmalade”

Lil' Kim at the 2002 Grammy Awards WireImage

Lil’ Kim at the 2002 Grammy Awards, holding her Grammy for “Lady Marmalade”

Most recently she was named by VH1 as one of “The 100 Greatest Women in Music” in 2012, listed by Billboard in 2014 as one of the women who changed hip-hop, and gave birth to a baby girl in 2014. Throughout her career, Lil’ Kim has sold over 11 million records worldwide, deemed the “Queen of Hip Hop,” and given the moniker “Queen Bee.”

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