Lil' Kim is about to go away for a while. But, the pint-sized rapper isn't leaving without leaving an indelible mark that will hold fans down until she returns from 366-day bid in prison. Kim's new album, The Naked Truth, hits stores on September 27, and her fourth opus is already being touted as her finest to date.
These days, "Stop Snitching" t-shirts have been the rage in inner-city communities, especially in Brooklyn - Lil' Kim's hometown. On the stand, Kim was rather tight-lipped but now, she is talking. AllHipHop.com spoke to an introspective, wise Kimberly Jones.
AllHipHop.com: Some people suggested that your adversity may turn into a positive thing. Do you feel that way?
Lil' Kim: I know it is, I mean I'm a very strong believer in God and I'm very spiritual and there's nowhere else to go but up. You what I'm saying, when you have down moments and you know there nowhere else to go but up and - I'm not the type of person to take a negative situation and make it more negative. Only negative people make negative situations worse. You know what I mean? I'm a positive person. On my album, this is not like that cause everyday is a positive, everything that happens in the world ain't positive. All the stuff that happens in the news ain't positive. The government politics, that s**t ain't positive. You know you gotta take the bitter with the sweet and that's why I like for my albums to be consisted of, bitter with the sweet, good, bad, and just easy and hard.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of the government, like a lot of people are critical of them right now with the Katrina thing, you have any thoughts on that?
Lil' Kim: The only thing I have to say about that is, I just hate what happened and it's just so crazy, you know what I mean, if it's true that they knew about this, is just why, why, why would you not try to warn people to clear the homes, city, and town out. Like, I don't understand that, if it's true. I'm not - we don't know exactly what's true and what's not. So if it is true and they knew about it then that's just negativity and evilness and my heart goes out everyone out in Louisiana and New Orleans who I heard lost everything. There's so many people out there who - we had a family member who was out there doing some film stuff and he was in a hotel and he lost everything, the only thing he had was his computer and his knapsack, you know what I mean, he lost all his clothes, all his other stuff.
AllHipHop.com:Word on the street is that you're gonna get five mics in The Source magazine.
Lil' Kim: Yeah. My peoples been tellin' me that. I think it just does great for the evolution of women. I think that's great. I thinks it's gonna be great for women now too. So women be like, "Now I know I can get five mics." Some women probably feel like, "I'm not even gonna try to get five mics, I know I ain't getting five mics." They're like, "Damn, I gonna try to get five mics too."
AllHipHop.com: It will be interesting to watch...
Lil' Kim: Every time my album comes put out, it's like there's a big, how can say this, there's a big hype around me, I come out and boom, you don't get enough of me. It's like my last two albums only had one video for both. That's like crazy. You know what I mean? So it's like, "She's here and then she just goes away real quick, like damn what happened, we need some more Kim." They haven't gotten it. That's where I think the misconception comes in it. That's where it is. But see with this album it's almost the same thing but it's gonna be way different and I think that they'll get to know me, see. With this album I might have the music, I might have the backing, I might have, hopefully, the videos. We tryin' to do at least three or four videos before I go and some other stuff so you can get to know me. But the only thing is in person you won't have me because I'll be gone. I gotta go away. But that's almost the same thing but it's a little different. Hopefully with this time with me being away, my music will be more appreciated and who I am and me as a person, I'll be more appreciated, hopefully.
AllHipHop.com:You feel that you're not appreciated?
Lil' Kim: I think sometimes I'm not, no. I think sometimes I'm not. People hate on me for no reason. Everybody know that I'm the most person - when people want there ratings to be high on the radio like certain talk show hosts, first thing they do is talk about Lil' Kim in a negative way. I haven't done nothing to these people, magazines - for no reason. They trash me. They don't even know me. So, of course that's not being appreciated, when I'm the one who brought the sexiness to the hardcore music for the women. Like, I should be respected and praised. And I'm not cocky or nothing like that, but respect as respecters do, you give respect doers with who deserves it, you know?
AllHipHop.com: If B.I.G. was here, what would he say?
Lil' Kim: I mean if Big was here I think a lot of things probably wouldn't have ended up going down the way they went down And if he was here, even if they - let's say they would've gone down anyway, Big is a very inspirational person in my life. Big could say anything. But I know one thing Big would've rolled out with me to the end, whatever. I think by now Big is proud of me. I think he's proud of me and in some senses or some way he may mad at me for being too be worried in certain situations or just being that nice or not being myself, not really saying what I really saying what I really want to say at certain moments. But that's all kind of changed.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think women have to talk about sexual things to get a foothold?
Lil' Kim:I don't know what they wanna do. [Laughs] I don't why it is that way, it's just that way. It should change. But things have changed a little. You know what I mean? I'm the first female rapper to get five mics you know what I mean? So it changes. You have to be the one to change things. I'm nothing like any female rapper that's out right now. That's the misconception and I hate it. You know what I'm saying? Remy has her own style. Everybody has there own style. Even homegirl [Foxy Brown], who they always compare me to, she is so different from me. I'm not her and this is the one thing I think I'm gonna be most satisfied with, with this album. And now I get to be separated from all that. My record that's out right now ["Put Your Lighters Up"] don't sound like any other female. You what I'm saying? I've gotten that, I sound like Lauryn, but see there's where you get your Grammy nomination. You know what I mean? I love being compared to Lauryn. And that means that I've done something different. Maybe that's it. And you feel cause I ain't different enough but it is what it is. I don't know.
AllHipHop.com: What about the industry now? I know that Maino has been real outspoken on your behalf, and Bumpy Knuckles too?
Lil' Kim: Those are my family, Maino, Bumpy, that's my family and they been around me for as long as - til' the boat sink - you know what I mean. And the boat ain't never sinking - so they gonna be around for a long time. I'm gonna be around for a long time and, you got some people in the industry that you're just close with.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, okay. Now on the one song , "My N***as," you have some things to say about people, can you speak on those things, like as what made you...
Lil' Kim: You know, just get my album, it speaks for itself. Everybody, you know, it ain't hard to see, hard to see, hard to tell. You what I mean, it ain't no secret, it is what it is.
AllHipHop.com: In the light of your situation, I think it'd be important to know - how is Lil' Kim different from Kim Jones?
Lil' Kim: I mean, I think everyone to a certain extent has to be a totally different person when they go home. You know what I mean? I doubt it very much if Lil' Jon just walks around saying to his mother, "Yeah, OKKKKKK!" I don't think he does that every five minutes, you know what I'm saying. I just think that everybody has their own personal life when they home and I think that's neat. People say I'm so different. I think people think I'm different because when they see me in person my voice is so soft spoken and I'm so classy. They don't expect me to be classy because my music is a little bit hardcore, whatever. I don't know, I don't understand what the misconception is. I don't understand. I think that people just haven't taken the time to really get to know me, and haven't been fair with me. But I think this album they gonna forced to be fair, take the time. That's what I think. I don't know what it is, I really don't. I'm trying to understand what's the misconception too. why can't I be - why can't I make hardcore music and be very sexy and then at the same time be classy? Why?
AllHipHop.com: Any final words or anything you would like to say to your fans and just people in general?
Lil' Kim: Yeah. I just love my fans. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, you can keep it going for a whole 'nother paragraph. I love you, I love you, I love you, because without them, there'd be no me, and they were supportive of me during everything I've been going through so there the ones who I am working so hard for. You know what I mean? And I thank them so much.