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Lil' Kim found success as a female rapper with her explicit lyrics and edgy content under the guidance of hip-hop icon Biggie Smalls.
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Kim put her sophomore album to the side after his death, instead choosing to be featured on songs by Puff Daddy and Mobb Deep.
Kim's next album, The Notorious K.I.M., wasn't released until 2000. She continued to work with Puff Daddy on the album after collaborating with him during her hiatus in an attempt to stay connected to Biggie's legacy. The certified platinum album was well-received by audiences and critics, but failed to live up to her debut.
The celebrity status that Kim had developed would skyrocket with her next project. In March 2001, she remade Patti Labelle's "Lady Marmalade" with singers Christina Aguilera, Pink and Mya for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. The Grammy-winning single was an immense hit, reaching No. 1 on the charts and solidifying Kim as one of the most sought after rappers—either male or female—of the early 21st century.
Lil' Kim faced major issues with the law in the same year that would impact her life and career forever. In February 2001, gunshots were fired after she finished promoting her album outside of a New York City radio station. As a result of the altercation, one man was shot and critically wounded. When questioned about the event, Kim refused to talk to police about who accompanied her to the radio station or the cause of the shooting. When asked by a grand jury what her connection was to those who opened fire, she claimed that she was either not accompanying them or she didn't know them at all. (The shooting was suspected to have been a part of the prolonged feud between Kim and Foxy Brown.)
Several years after the shootout, Kim was convicted for perjury and conspiracy in 2005 for lying about her involvement to law officials and a grand jury. Security footage proved that the rapper gave false information about her relationship with the entourage that accompanied her to the New York City radio station and opened fire. For the charges, Kim faced up to 20 years imprisonment, but was only sentenced to jail time of one year and a day, with a $50,000 fine. Her fourth album, The Naked Truth, was released at the beginning of her sentence.
After serving her 366-day sentence, Lil' Kim was released from prison and struggled to get her career back on track. In 2008, she left Atlantic Records with the intention of releasing her own music independently. The same year, she dropped the mixtape Ms. G.O.A.T. – Greatest of All Time, which failed to gain much public attention. Kim also branched out into reality television, acting as a judge on the series Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (2008) and competing in Dancing with the Stars (2009). She later released her second mixtape, Black Friday (2011), in response to her feud with popular female rapper Nicki Minaj, who earlier released the album Pink Friday (2010).
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