In the 1990s, Lil’ Kim and The Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Biggie Smalls) were two of Brooklyn’s finest rappers. The two emcees launched their music careers together and were by each other’s side for years in more ways than one.
Lil’ Kim and Biggie Smalls had hit songs together
Lil’ Kim first met Biggie Smalls as a teenager; he heard her rapping on the corner of Fulton Street in their home neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant and immediately knew she was going to be a sensation. He asked her to join his group, Junior M.A.F.I.A., and they began recording music together.
Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s debut album Conspiracy was released in 1995 and contained the hit singles “Player’s Anthem” and “Get Money.” The success of Junior M.A.F.I.A. quickly led Lil’ Kim to launch a solo career: she began recording her debut album Hard Core, which was released in 1996.
Inside Lil’ Kim and Biggie Smalls’ relationship
Biggie had already been married to singer Faith Evans when Junior M.A.F.I.A. got together. He tied the knot with Evans in 1994 after just eight days of knowing each other. When Lil’ Kim and Biggie began working together in Junior M.A.F.I.A., they struck up a romantic relationship on the side.
“He became my friend, my lover, my everything. I was his biggest fan.” Kim told Entertainment Weekly in 2016. “He knew I would be the biggest female rapper. I think I inspired him to want to do different things and be different. We were a match made in heaven, like Sonny and Cher or Ashford and Simpson.”
While Lil’ Kim was recording Hard Core in 1996, she discovered that she was pregnant with Biggie’s child. Rather than have the baby, Kim chose to have an abortion. She told The Source magazine in 1999, “I already knew the kind of relationship that Biggie and I had, and I knew that [having a child] was something that couldn’t take place.”
She admitted in 2017 on Ebro In the Morning that all was not well behind the scenes. “We did have a very violent relationship,” she said honestly, confirming an account by Jermaine Dupri that Biggie pulled a gun on her in the studio. “I hate that, for a while, that was all I attracted: violent [men]. It is what it is. He was everything. You know how it is when you’re in the industry: the guys can do whatever they want, but you can’t do s—. You can’t do nothing.”
Lil’ Kim and Faith Evans are ‘sisters’ today thanks to Biggie Smalls
Despite Kim being one of several “other women” in Biggie and Evans’ marriage, Evans’ resentment toward Kim dissipated after Biggie’s sudden death by drive-by shooting in 1997. Both artists have reiterated in the years since that there’s no bad blood between them, and they have each other’s backs.
“I’ve always adored Kim,” Evans said honestly in a September 2020 Instagram Live with Fat Joe. “When I first met Kim, I had no inkling of anything going on with her and Big. I didn’t meet her in the vein of ‘I’m this man’s wife and I know you’re f—ing him.’”
In 2017, they even collaborated on a song for Evans and Biggie’s posthumous album The King & I called “Lovin’ You For Life.” In 2019, at the unveiling of a new mural of Biggie, Kim referred to Evans as her “sister.”
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