Kim’s music thrives despite prison

As the doors of the courthouse creak open during the intro of Lil’ Kim’s fourth album, “The Naked Truth,” she exposes herself to the world.

Lil’ Kim, whose birth name is Kimberly Jones, tells her side of the street battle that resulted in her serving time in prison.

On the track titled “Slippen” she talks about how the street grudge with rapper Foxy Brown was cause for the most publicized time of Jones’ life. Jones was convicted of conspiracy and perjury after the 2001 shootout between Junior M.A.F.I.A and Capone-N-Noreaga, and the resulting trial.

She lied to the Federal Grand Jury about knowing if her two close friends, who both pled guilty to gun charges, were at the New York City radio station, where the shootout occurred.

“The Naked Truth” was released Sept. 27, just seven days after she turned herself in to the Philadelphia detention center to serve a 366-day prison sentence.

Lil’ Kim graces the cover of the October 2005 issue of The Source magazine, which gave the album a five mic’ rating, calling it “A Hip-Hop Classic.”

Through aggressive and harsh delivery of her truthful lyrics, Lil’ Kim reaches a higher level in her career. By comparison to her last album “La Bella Mafia,” Lil Kim shows sensational growth in “The Naked Truth”.

She takes clear jabs at her once beloved Junior M.A.F.I.A. label in her song “Whoa.” Also, during the album’s “outro” she talks with her sister about her former friend and label mate, Lil’ Cease, who took the stand against her.

Her voice gets low and raspy in “Quiet,” a duet with rap artist The Game, on which she makes controversial statements about 50 Cent and the government. Her song “Lighters Up,” is getting heavy rotation on the radio. In this song she talks about where she grew up in Brooklyn, NY.

In the hood, it’s all about loyalty. She proves her loyalty by using her former lover and friend the deceased Notorious B.I.G on the chorus of “All Good.”

Other artists featured on the album include Snoop Dog, Twista and Sha Dash.

In an exclusive interview with The Source magazine, Lil’ Kim said the grind of going to court and the media hoopla it created was unfair. “I took one for Hip-Hop,” Lil’ Kim said.

In her song “Durty” she said she was indicted because of her music. Although many male rappers have served time, Lil’ Kim is the first female rapper to go to prison.

Even in her circumstance, Lil’ Kim does not apologize. Instead, through her music she sheds light on the struggles of hustling and living within the inner cities.

In a article Lil’ Kim said she will use her time in prison for reflection.

“I plan to write music while in prison, read and pray regularly and will come out a stronger, more confident woman.”

“The Naked Truth,” earns a grade of A.

I say, put your lighter’s up for Lil’ Kim because once she’s out we can expect a successful tour.

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