The Queen Bee
Lil' Kim, Kathy Iandoli
The debut memoir from the hip-hop icon Lil’ Kim
When teenager Kimberly Denise Jones – better known as Lil’ Kim – burst onto the hip-hop scene in the mid-nineties, no one was prepared for how she would shake-up the entire music industry.
As the sole female member of the Notorious B.I.G.’s rap collective, Junior M.A.F.I.A., and an affiliate of Puff Daddy and the Bad Boy family, Lil’ Kim always stood out from the pack. But she was determined to make an even greater name for herself and emerged as a solo superstar. In 1996, she dropped her solo debut album, Hard Core, which topped the Billboard charts, went double-platinum, and is now widely considered to be one of the most influential rap albums of all-time. With her dynamic lyricism, her unflappable no-nonsense attitude, her iconic looks both on and off the red carpet, and her unapologetic sexuality, Lil’ Kim quickly established herself as a force to be reckoned with-and was crowned the Original Queen Bee.
Twenty-five years later, this Grammy award-winning superstar has released five studio albums, sold millions of records, topped the Billboard charts, performed all over the world, and remains at the top of her game. And yet few people ever knew about the hard work, hustle, and heartbreak that went into securing her place on the throne – until now.
In this debut memoir, Lil’ Kim reveals everything that really went on behind-the-scenes of her legendary career, much of it for the very first time publicly. From her earliest rap beginnings growing up in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and her teenage years spent with the Notorious B.I.G. to her rise as a solo icon, Lil’ Kim not only blazed trails for women in hip-hop, but also inspired the careers of those who followed. However, life at the top hasn’t been easy, either. Lil’ Kim also talks about the darker moments of her reign: her complicated high-profile relationships, the misogynistic industry she fought to change through sex positivity, the challenging double standards of self-image and beauty in the spotlight, and the momentous act of loyalty that ultimately landed her in prison.
The Queen Bee is every bit as fierce, empowering, and badass as the woman at the heart of this story – and firmly cements her legacy as a true feminist icon.
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