LIL' KIM, May 14, 2003

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1995 interview with Lil' Kim

The 411 Online caught up with Lil' Kim during the press conference announcing the nominees for the 2003 BET Awards.

What can we expect from your performance at the BET Awards?

"I guess I'll just get all freaky up on that stage. Nah, I'm just gonna do Lil' Kim. A lot of people don't get the chance to see me perform and I'm happy this year that BET -- thank you again, BET -- invited me to perform, especially with the controversy of Lil' Kim. But I want people to know that I'm very, very versatile and that my music just doesn't consist of one thing -- and you'll see that in my performance. I just want to bring energy and I want to bring fun. The best thing -- the thing that makes me happy -- is when I perform on stage and I see the adrenaline running through people in the crowd and they're happy and I've touched them in a certain way, just by my performance. So that's what you can expect."

How do you separate what Lil' Kim wants from what your fans want? How do you deal with that pressure?

"It's hard. My last album, I went through a lot. I love my last album and there were a lot of great songs on there, but I think a lot of that music was made for me and one thing that I've learned working with Puffy is the fact that I do have a following and certain people want to hear a certain kind of music. One thing that I like about my fans is that they can grow with me and they realize that this industry is about growth. In order for them to take me seriously, I couldn't do another Hard Core. I couldn't do another Notorious K.I.M. My music has to show growth and I have to be true to myself. So I think as long as I remain true to myself, my fans love anything I do."

You've said in the past how important your faith is to you. Can you speak about that a bit?

"My faith remains the same basically. I still keep in touch with Hezekiah Walker every so often -- as much as I can. But my faith remains the same. It will never go anywhere."

What do you say to critics who say that what you do isn't 'ladylike'?

"I'll tell you a story from when I first came into the game. Biggie... the Notorious B.I.G. brought me into the game and he wanted to introduce me to Puffy. Well, Puffy had a very bad experience with female rappers back in the day, so he told Biggie 'they never work.' And then he said, 'She's too pretty to rap anyway. She has to look like one of you, you know, one of the guys.' Well anyway, what I wanted to prove was that I can do exactly what you and what the other guys do -- and probably even better. And I think I proved myself. One thing in the industry, when you're a female, you do have to prove yourself... unfortunately. But I feel that women are coming up and I thank God that we're able to be recognized for our talent in this game and not just for our bodies."

What will be your next single from La Bella Mafia?

"The next single is 'Magic Stick' featuring 50 Cent."

How was it working with 50 Cent?

"It was really, really, really great working with 50 Cent, and we developed a chemistry. One thing I hadn't had on a record in a long time is a chemistry like I had with Biggie. This record is exploding, it's huge, it's up to 61 million listeners in the world."

Can you tell us a little more about your record label?

"I do have a record label. It's called Queen Bee Records and one thing I've been blessed with is to keep it functioning. We're not a huge company right now, but I do have artists. I have Lil' Shanice, who's been with me since my last album, and I also am getting ready to sign a duo, an R&B group that has sold 4-5 million records. I'm just thankful to be a part of this historical moment."

With a new album out and a new crew behind you, how do you prevent some of the troubles that followed you when you were with Junior M.A.F.I.A. from happening again?

"I can only learn from my mistakes in the past. We can only just pray to God and just keep the positivity flowing. That's the only thing you really can do in this game, especially when you already have music that's out there that's promoting it. It's an unfortunate thing, but it's definitely the world of the life that we've come from. But in the same sense, like I said, you can only keep the positivity flowing. I'm a very positive person. I don't like friction and that's mainly because I have a real nasty attitude when it comes on, so I like to keep the smiles on and I teach them the right way. So, like I said, you can only keep the positivity flowing -- and make good music."

-- J Rough, The 411 Online

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