In Hip Hop History Today: Lil Kim was born July 11, 1974
Kimberly Denise Jones was born July 11, 1974 and known by her stage name Lil’ Kim. She is a rapper, songwriter, record producer, model, and actress. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, living much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from home. In her teens, Jones would freestyle rap, heavily influenced by actress/singer Diana Ross, and fellow female hip-hop artists like MC Lyte and The Lady of Rage. Performing a freestyle rap for The Notorious B.I.G. got her music career started in 1995 with his group Junior M.A.F.I.A., whose debut album Conspiracy generated three hit singles. Kimberly Jones’ debut studio album, Hard Core (1996) was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and spawned three consecutive No. 1 hits. In 2005, she served a yearlong prison sentence for lying to a jury about her friends’ involvement in a shooting four years earlier. During her incarceration, her fourth album The Naked Truth was released. She returned to the public eye in 2009 with an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Throughout her career, Jones has earned several accolades for her work. In 2012, she was honorably listed on VH1’s “100 Greatest Women In Music” list at number 45, the second highest position for a solo female hip-hop artist. Listen to The Naked Truth below.