Lil’ Kim has a crazy life. She’s a star and enigma. Funny thing is, she wants more.
Life must be crazy.
It’s always crazy, especially when you have an image to uphold like mine.
Is it fun to live up to that or sometimes do you want to get away from it?
I definitely want people to pay attention to my music and me, but fashion is in everything I do but I don’t want it to be the focal point.
Is respect for your music more important than being noticed for the other things that are going on?
Of course, because when I was with Biggie they thought he was doing everything for me. When I was with Puffy they thought he had everyone writing for me. It’s crazy that no one really knew what the real deal was and this was my chance to prove it. Biggie brought me on not just for a pretty face, but because I’m nice.
Hip-hop is about respect, do you think you used to get glossed over?
They have in the past and I think they know they have to respect me. That is what I was looking for.
Is it funny because you are small and you meet people and they expect you to be much bigger because your voice and hard ass attitude on the records?
It’s amazing when people say ‘you are so little’. I think they expect me to be so much more different. I am little, I’m only five feet.
You’ve been guesting on a lot of records lately, is it nice to be asked?
It’s always nice to be asked. Even if I’m at the top of my game I will contact someone and tell them I want to be on it. When I first heard the Mobb Deep record I loved it so much and I wanted to be on it. I was thinking about calling them but they called me out of the blue and I was like ‘what?’ (Laughs)
Have you called anyone?
It happened one time with this group Iconz and their song “Get Crunked Up” and they put me on the remix. What happened was that I was in a club in Miami and the song came on and the crowd went bananas. I was like ‘oh my God what is this’. Then one of the Iconz came up to me and told me it was their record and that was it.
What do you think about all the hip-hop artists crossing over to TV and film? Why is hip-hop such a dominating genre in the move over?
I think with people like Will Smith and Queen Latifah and Tupac and Jennifer Lopez setting the trend and showing they can do both. It’s the next step up. But for me Hollywood is my next thing, aside from my clothing line. I love to play different people because I have a lot of different personalities. It’s therapeutic for me.
Do challenges like that keeps you motivated?
It’s the only thing that keeps me motivated. I love acting. When I was in school my favorite thing to do was to have talent shows. To be able to act and take on that challenge is very therapeutic.
Is it fun to step out of Lil’ Kim and be someone else?
I can’t say it’s that much more fun because it’s fun being me. But to be able to do something different is exciting.
Is the person in front of the camera different than the person at home?
Yes and no. There are times when my attitude is projected from different albums that I make. I’m not like that all the way around so I am different from my albums, but everything that happens in my albums goes on inside of me.
People might think your house must be crazy.
My house isn’t like that at all. I’m a real person. You can’t be the person in your music all the time. I know 50 [Cent] talks about guns in his music, but he can’t be running around shooting people all day because he can’t. (Laughs)
Every magazine cover you are on you are looking sexy and very provocative. Is that your choice or theirs?
A lot of the time it’s their choice, but I choose what I want to wear after they tell me what the concept for their cover. I’m into fashion and fashion isn’t always about being naked. Sexy isn’t naked. Sexy can be in a bikini or a sweat suit. You are going to see more covers and pictures in the future with me sexy in t-shirt and jeans.
I was watching the Bachelor last night on TV and I was thinking ‘wouldn’t it be fun to see Lil’ Kim shaking it up on the next Bachelorette?’
I ain’t even trying to have that. I ain’t going out with no fools. (Laughs)
Do you have to set aside time to work on music now?
I try to keep music in my head even when the album is done. I still listen to beats all the time so it’s on my mind.
Do you always write to beats?
Yeah. It moves me and gets what I want to say out.
Have you lost the ability to live a normal life?
I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I wish I had a little more privacy.
+ charlie craine