Lil’ Kim: The Naked Truth Part II

It may not be easy to spot now, but going to the “big house” may be the best thing to happen to Lil’ Kim’s career. Based on a recent interview on BET’s “106 & Park” she indicated that knows this notion to be true. “I’m gonna go do what I gotta do for a year and a day and come back stronger than ever, harder than ever,” she barked in front of a horde of shrieking fans. “They done messed up now…Don’t send me [to prison], because all you are gonna do is build this machine stronger.

Since her roughneck debut, Hardcore, Lil’ Kim’s subject matter and lyrical poise have developed tremendously, not just her fashion sense. Despite what the circumstances may say, it’s great to be Lil’ Kim, as seen with her new album The Naked Truth. Here, Kim explains the plan while she is away, her iconic status and the odd way she linked up with The Game.

AllHipHop.com: On The Naked Truth, it seems like it’s more topic oriented, how have you evolved since Hardcore?

Lil’ Kim: Just like the things, I think, I’ve gone through have evolved. Just on those things, period. I mean, there’s a lot more to talk about, I mean I’m always gonna evolved as a artist and I’m not gonna stop until I feel I’ve reached a peak of being an artist until I don’t want to do it anymore.

AllHipHop.com: A lot people put you in a category of ‘sex oriented’ Rap or whatever, how far have you moved beyond that?

Lil’ Kim: But see, that’s just a thing, Like, they used to do that, after this album, everyone’s changed their whole song – and I like that. I’m glad, not just about sex anymore, nobody’s gonna do a whole album with just be sex, sex, sex, sex, sex. I don’t believe that that’s easy to do. Even some of the most sexual artists from back in the days that have been out there, you get their album it’s not only just about sex. I used to hate that. With this album, I’m happy that everyone is taking a whole different approach to who I am as a artist and the music I make.

AllHipHop.com: Because Hardcore is so revered in some circles, I have to wonder if you would you call this new work your best album to date?

Lil’ Kim: I think it’s my best album. I think on Hardcore, there’s a lot of classics and you can’t take away that, you can’t take away classics. But this is definitely gonna be my best album. As far as the most important album, I think La Bella Mafia was the most important album and it didn’t really – it didn’t really get what it needed, it didn’t get the nurture that it needed. To Hip-Hop, to me, for my career – it was very important – that was and important and I think people will understand later why that album was very important later. Notorious K.I.M., although it wasn’t the better album out of any of these albums, we can’t ignore that album because that album was – that was right after Biggie died and that album is gonna very important and very necessary. In the future, I think that people will understand the evolution of Lil’ Kim.

AllHipHop.com: As you discuss importance, I can’t ignore that Syracuse University had a class devoted to you. How do you look at that?

Lil’ Kim: A lot of people thought it was bulls**t, some people thought it was bogus. I thought it was a great thing. They had a class on Tupac, I think they even were even trying to make a class on Biggie. Why not do a class on the first female of Hip-Hop who brought the evolution of being sexy to the game, why not? You know what I’m saying? I wouldn’t even mind if they have had a class on like the first female rapper ever. Why not? What’s wrong with it? I don’t see anything wrong with it. I sat in on a class, it’s not just, “Oh, go find every Lil’ Kim record, or for every Lil’ Kim video, and do a study on her.” It’s a literature class. So when we doing music, music is literate so you have to write, you what I’m saying? Music is studying. They have literature books, Maya Angelou books, they have all kind of literature books that you have to study and compare these literature books the life and the times and the style of Lil’ Kim, my music. And honestly, I haven’t checked up on it lately, but Greg is the professor of the class and he’s a really, really, nice person. And I understand why he pushed for this. And when I went everyone that was on the board at Syracuse, they were so cool and so nice. I haven’t heard them taking it away or anything like that, but one thing I do know is that the classes were over booked. There were so many people trying to get into the class so there must be something in a reason for it. So instead of hanging on and on, rejecting it, they need to accept it and embrace it cause it is a part of life and culture.

AllHipHop.com: In the uncertainty of now, will your line of wrist-watches still come out?

Lil’ Kim: Yeah. As a matter of fact, I’m wearing one right now. I like to always like to keep all my stuff new. We’re in the middle right now – we’re changing distributors, so the person that distributes this watch which is a – the person will not be distributing this watch for me anymore. So right now, we’re gonna do different designs basically.

AllHipHop.com: Likewise, will there be the reality show, as promised?

Lil’ Kim: I may possibly have two shows, we’re not sure. We’re not sure exactly where The Reality of Lil’ Kim is going to placed right now. I mean, we’re in works with some people right now. Tracy Edmunds is playing a big role in this reality show, that’s Babyface’s wife. So she’s like my big sister. And she’s playing a big role and as you know she has the [BET] project, College Hill, so she’s not no stranger to reality TV. And we were really excited about her being really excited about it, because she’s someone who I’ve known for a long time, she’s always wanted to work with me and we never gotten a chance. We linked up again over the last few months and we just started talking about the show and we just agreed to do it. So she’s playing a big role in this. I can’t really say where we’re going yet.

AllHipHop.com: So this is different then the other one?

Lil’ Kim: [It’s different] than the VH1 reality show. The VH1 reality show is supposed to be a makeover show, just something because who knows fashion and style better than me in the Hip-Hop industry? So I think VH1 wanted to bring something to the urban community that they could watch and accept and appreciate, and they used me to do that. I think because of my whole situation they still – it still supposed to be – we’re still going forward with it but because of my situation, we’re just trying to pan out the next episode. We did shoot one pilot that VH1 loved, but I wasn’t happy about and since I wasn’t too happy about it, we’re trying to figure out better ways to edit it and produce it and make it better.

AllHipHop.com: Would you consider yourself a fashion icon?

Lil’ Kim: You know, it’s crazy…yeah, fashion-wise, I am. I don’t know what it is about me that they love so much. I love that. But I don’t know what it is, like Mark Jacobs and I have been friends for a couple years now and he’s somebody I love and appreciate. He has a huge Marc Jacobs line, which I love and then he also designs for Louis Vuitton so he is like one of my closest friends in the industry. He’s teaching me a lot too of how to go for my style and be even more comfortable with it. I’m always comfortable with it but over the years there was a slight black barricade of me being reinventing myself and that was because I was just let people style me and just letting them do whatever they wanted to do because I had so much other stuff I had focus on. I kinda just didn’t just put my heart and soul into fashion no more as much as I could because there was so much other things going on but over the last year I don’t call it cleaning up my look or I don’t call it toning down, because I hate that I a lot and I hate that cause what happens when I didn’t do a look that’s over-the-top but it’s still looks good? It’s not toned down. It’s not cleaned up. But it looks good. So you can’t say cleaned up, toned down. They can say whatever they want to say. I just say taking control of my own career, my own image. That’s all I say.

AllHipHop.com: I think you’ve shown street-level chicks a way to look classy, and vice-versa…

Lil’ Kim: Yeah. I can’t speak for them. I just appreciated the fact that they appreciate me and what I do in with my fashion. I love that. But I don’t what it is like Marc Jacobs and I have been friends for a couple years now and he’s somebody I love and appreciate. He has a huge Marc Jacobs line which I love and then he also designs for Louie Vuitton, so he is like one of my closest friends in the industry. He’s teaching me a lot too, of how to go for my style and be even more comfortable with it. I’m always comfortable with it – but over the years, there was a slight black barricade of me reinventing myself and that was because I was just let people style me and just letting them do whatever they wanted to do because I had so much other stuff I had focus on. I kinda just didn’t just put my heart and soul into fashion no more as much as I could, because there was so much other things going on. But over the last year, I don’t call it ‘cleaning up my look’ or I don’t call it ‘toning down,’ because I hate that I a lot and I hate that ‘cause what happens when I didn’t do a look that’s over-the-top but it’s still looks good? They can say whatever they want to say. I just say taking control of my own career, my own image. That’s all I say.

AllHipHop.com: So like, the Diana Ross nipple cover thing [from the 1999 MTV VMA’s], that wasn’t your idea?

Lil’ Kim: No, actually it wasn’t my idea; I just knew how to rock it. [laughs] Everyone can do that, I’m sure. But when I did it, it was just something that I understood. People were looking like – people who were around at the time that knew that I was gonna do this was like – they didn’t understand it. But I understood it. You know what I mean? Because just before she showed it to me I was looking in a magazine where I’ve seen a dress that looked similar to that but wasn’t exactly that. And then my stylist at the time came and brought that to the table.

AllHipHop.com: Lastly, the record you recently did with The Game is getting a lot of buzz. Can you tell us how you two linked?

Lil’ Kim: That was like a freak accident. First, I met him one time in LA. He was really nice to me, he came up – this was way before he became an artist – he came up to me and was like, “Yo Kim, I like your s**t.” He wasn’t like trying to talk to me, nothin’ like that, he was straight music and I loved that about him, that even that one moment that I met him, I didn’t even know who he was. .” He shook my hand, you know what I mean, to me that’s somebody admiring my work not somebody just being a fan or just saying something just to say something. I respected that and I think he did it right. I liked his introduction and that was cool.

[So recently,] I had a listening party, I wasn’t there. But one of his representatives was there and he heard a certain a record that I had, and he went crazy over it. He loved it and he felt like Game would be perfect for the hook, and that was just like his artist and he’s cool with my people. So he reached out to my people and was like, “Yo, can Game be on this hook, so crazy, I want him to be on this record with Kim.” My people said, “This record could be even bigger with Game,” I think it’s something nobody would expect. We sent the track to Game, he was in London. I respect him for that, he was doing some [publicity and touring.] He took the time out in London to go in the studio in London, he laid a verse and did a hook, but he – the verse is gonna be on a remix. I really respect him because I don’t know if I would’ve done that. [laughs]

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