Lil Kim Talks to Rap-Up
Man oh man…this is getting out of control.
Rap-Up.Com got an exclusive interview with Lil Kim to talk about her mixtape, its album sales, and Nicki Minaj’s Twitter reaction to it:
What do you say to those who question the authenticity of those figures?
At the end of the day, you’re always going to have your haters. We need the haters. There was actually a representative at PayPal who basically didn’t really confirm or deny it, but also [said] that they’re very happy and proud of the success of Lil’ Kim. I think numbers in other areas speak for themselves. I mean, why aren’t they questioning the Black Friday being at 2.5 [million views] in less than 18 hours? Why aren’t they questioning that? What’s the difference? How can you add up one thing and not the other? I just feel like people pick and choose the area that they want to attack [laughs].
Nicki Minaj laughed off your sales claims. Did you see that?
I heard about it. I didn’t see it actually for myself, but to be honest with you, homegirl is basically obsolete to me right now. She’s doing a lot of lame stuff. She’s so lame to me right now—she’s always been, but now really. At the end of the day, her sales can be questioned also. Not to say she didn’t have the build-up, but the only thing you kept hearing before her album dropped was nobody liked it, it was wack. Don’t get me wrong, she might have a couple songs that are OK, but who cares. The haters will be haters, that’s their job, and we need them.
What can fans expect once they receive the mixtape?
They can expect a new Kim as well as the old Kim. I think why people love “Black Friday” so much is that you got an element of the old Kim in there that everyone can feel. You can feel the spirit of Hard Core on “Black Friday” and the spirit of the new Kim on “Black Friday” as well. I think that’s one of the reasons why “Black Friday” was so successful. It’s such a happy medium on that record and I think that’s what my fans had been waiting for for so long. I just feel that people are going to be pretty much happy. This to me is an hors d’oeuvre before the main meal. It’s an appetizer, put it that way. I think once the main course comes, people are gonna be so full. And not full to the point where they don’t want to eat anymore, but full to the point where the food was so good that you just want your stomach to die down so you can eat some more.
Have you listened to Pink Friday?
I couldn’t listen to the whole thing. I’ve heard some songs from it. I’ve never deemed her to be a horrible artist, I just think that people give her more credit than she actually deserves. It’s not even her who’s made her career exactly what it is, it’s the machine behind her. I’m not up against Nicki Minaj. I’m up against the Universal/Cash Money machine. You put that machine behind me I would have been dusting her off. At the end of the day, I’m not with Atlantic Records anymore, I’m not with a record company anymore, so anything you see me doing, I’m using my own money, I’m maneuvering my own self, I’m my own boss. She works for a boss. I cut my checks, she gets checks cut to her or probably for her. At the end of the day, I’m handling everything for myself. I’m on a totally different grind than she’s on. You know how you play a video game and you get to a certain level and you gotta break the code, I’ve already broken the code. I’m on the next level of the game [laughs].
A decapitated Nicki is pictured on the mixtape cover. Whose idea was that?
That was a fan’s idea. My fans are just beautiful. I thank God for my fans. They’re the best, the best, the best. This is how they kinda seen it. I like to give my fans opportunity. I have fans who love me and say, “Kim, I wanna do your artwork,” and I give them the chance. My fans are very special to me and I feel like when fans wanna do things for me, I let them go ahead and run with it ’cause they know what the other fans wanna see too.
What do you say to those who are fans of both you and Nicki and are concerned that this could escalate beyond wax?
Right now they don’t need to be concerned. I’m not going to allow anyone to disrespect me or take money out my mouth. I’m like a Malcolm X in that sense, but at the end of the day, I’ve been there done that, I know where things like this can lead. People gotta know that I’m not stupid, but I’m having fun. I’m protecting my brand and my empire at this moment. If this situation is deeper than what everybody would like to think it is, then it will all come to light. I’m a strong believer in how I conducted my strategy with this whole situation.
If you see Nicki in person, what would you say?
What is there to say [laughs]? There’s nothing to say. I’ve never said, “When I see you, I’m gonna do that.” I’m not into all that ’cause this ain’t beef. People have no idea what beef is unless you grew up how I grew up and where I grew up at. This is nowhere near beef. It’s an insult to even call this beef to people who really have beef in the streets and overseas and other countries where it’s real beef. This is nothing to even take to a different level. I’m not gonna let nobody disrespect me or my family or my freakin’ money. It’s definitely a hip-hop war and I’m protecting my empire, and I’m definitely protecting my brand. It’s an entertainment war.
Will we ever see a day where the two of you do a record together?
The only way that’s gonna happen is it’s definitely gonna take a check. At the end of the day, I’m a boss. I was a hustler before I was an entertainer. What I mean by that is, I love music—love, love, love music. I love entertaining, I love being in the industry, but the truth of the matter is if music and the industry didn’t bring me money, this would not be my first occupation. I also am a businesswoman and I know that living life, you have to eat. If the industry was designed where you didn’t make money from it, it was just music to produce, I would still do it, but it wouldn’t be my first occupation.
Has anyone from the Young Money-Cash Money crew reached out to you?
They reached out in the beginning when this all happened. Not Wayne, I think Wayne was locked up. Baby did reach out to me and I had nothing to say ’cause out of everyone over there, I think the two who ignited a lot of this is Baby and Drake, and in some way Slim. I really don’t have much to say to them. I’ve never really had nothing against Wayne. I think Wayne was the most mature one in the whole situation and the one who handled it the right way to me. I think me and Wayne actually like each other. I think we both like each other’s style. I think it’s been like that for a while. A lot of people don’t know, before this situation happened, I was making alliances with Cash Money because I saw them trying to pattern this girl after me. I figured she’s somebody that I could actually help and we both could rock together, but she didn’t want it like that. I have someone on my team by the name of Fendi that used to manage her and he said that she was always jealous of any female that they even brought around to try to put in the group or make situations with. She was always jealous of me. At the same time, she was a fan though—I’m not gonna deny that, but she would say little hateful things and her mission was to come into the industry and try to destroy me or get me out the way, so she could be the only female in the industry.
Foxy Brown released a diss record aimed at you called “Massacre.” What did you think of that? Did you hear it?
[Laughs] I don’t think she heard it. I don’t even—I couldn’t even—you know what, next question. [Laughs] That was the biggest joke of the industry ever. Hilarious, hilarious. I don’t understand it.
How are things between you and Diddy these days?
I don’t speak to Diddy. He basically showed his side and what he wanted to do, so he can go over there and run with it.
Now that your mixtape Black Friday is out, when are we going to get the next studio album?
I’m always working. You’re gonna always hear music from me. I can honestly say I’m so proud of the body of work that I’ve been producing. It’s a new sound for me, something that I think my fans are gonna love and I’m excited about the newdirection. I’m basically always working. You’re gonna always hear music from me, but you’re gonna have that coming right after [the mixtape]. We got some surprises and some treats.
Do you have an album title yet?
I have a few, but I really don’t want to mention them now.
Is it going to be more like the Hard Core days or will we see the pop side of Kim?
You’re gonna get a mixture. There’s no way to just go straight Hard Core. I’m not one of those artists that say, “OK, I’m in a Hard Core mood, so everything’s gonna be Hard Core.” I’m not one of those artists. I don’t live my life like that. I don’t wake up every day and feel that same feeling. I live by the nature really. There are artists who will take a certain concept and go with that concept through the whole album; I’m not like that. I’m an artist who likes for everything to be universal.
Which producers are you working with?
Well, just so you know, I’m on Dr. Dre’s Detox album and I can’t wait, wait, wait, wait for that. The song is freakin’ phenomenal. It’s definitely something that my Hard Core fans are going to love, love, love, love, love. In return he’s doing a song for me on my album. I got Timbaland. I’m not the type of person where every name has to be a big name. I just have a really wonderful relationship with Timbaland and a wonderful relationship with Dr. Dre, so I’m lucky to have them as in-house producers. I also have up-and-coming producers, who people are going to get to know through my music. They’re not even out there like that.
There were reports that you were signing with Roc Nation…
I did get offers from representatives from Roc Nation and I did get phone calls from representatives from Roc Nation. A couple representatives from Def Jam had also reached out to me. I think they’re both amazing companies and I think it would’ve been brilliant for me and Jay to collaborate and team up together. However it just didn’t pan out like that. Not to say that something with me and Jay can’t happen in the future, but I doubt if Jay-Z or Roc Nation will be a part of my upcoming album. He and I are really good friends. We both were excited about the idea of us collaborating and maybe me signing with Roc Nation. I think Jay-Z is letting me be Kim at this moment. I think he feels that I deserve to be Kim and also to have everything that… It’s hard for record companies to sign females these days and give them exactly what they want and need. I understand that. It’s a different world out there.
Have you signed a new record deal or are you in the process of doing that?
I have a lot of situations on the table and I have a lot of situations in effect. For the most part, I’m very independent right now. All the situations that I have on the table, whatever the situation is, it’s going to be a partnership.
You previously mentioned a potential collaboration with Rihanna. Did anything happen?
Well, I mentioned I would love to collaborate with her. She’s my favorite pop artist right now. I think she’s just phenomenal. I feel like collaborations with people happen naturally. But I do have three people on my radar that I wanna work with so bad, but I’m not gonna tell you who they are. You know why I’m not gonna tell you? Because there were two people that I wanted to work with that [Nicki Minaj] ended up working with and I feel like it’ll just jinx it when you say it out loud. People hear you and they wanna do the same thing you do. I know that this collaboration is gonna happen. I feel it. I see it happening.
As a hip-hop veteran, who are you feeling these days?
I almost listen to everyone’s music. I’m really loving Wiz Khalifa. I like him a lot. I think he’s a dope artist. And also another up-and-coming artist, his name is Big Sean. I think he’s hot. There’s a lot of pop artists I love. I love rock ‘n’ roll music. I love all types of music. Usher, I’m loving him again. Not to say I stopped loving him, but at one point I didn’t understand the direction his music was going in, but I am in love with everything he’s doing now.
What do you think of Lady Gaga’s new single “Born This Way”?
I love Lady Gaga. Anything she does, I love. Even if it’s not my favorite Lady Gaga record—she’s just phenomenal. She is so cute.
Some people have compared her to you, saying she’s taken a page from your book at times.
I see that. I can see some of my influences too, but you know what I love about it? She just made it her own. She went in adirection that is her own. I would never try to go in thatdirection. She went in a direction where I love to watch her.
Maybe one day we’ll see a Kim and Gaga collaboration?
[Laughs] She’s wonderful. She’s definitely wonderful.
Any other projects coming out that you’re excited about?
Well, I have a book deal that’s been in the works for a long time. We’re finally starting the process of getting it out. It won’t come out around the same time as my album, but a little bit after my album comes out. I’m excited about that book. The name of the book is The Price of Loyalty. I have a book deal with St. Martin’s Press and I cannot wait for this book to come out because it’s solely about my stay in prison and a lot of the wonderful, beautiful girls that I met in prison. It’s some of their stories mixed with my stories mixed with the whole prison situation, and even how it came to be for me. It’s gonna be an interesting book. I do have some other things that I’m excited about, some endorsement situations.
Anything you’d like to add?
I just want to thank all my fans for making Black Friday so successful. I love seeing my fans smile and cry tears of joy because everywhere I go they’re just freaking so supportive. I want to thank them right now and just let everybody know that they can find me on Twitter @LilKim.
First of all, since when do people sell mixtapes? Second, your mixtape is all about Nicki….her image, though it’s decapitated, is on the cover, and you’re rapping over her songs. Is there something going on under the surface. Nicki is doing extremely well, but Kim still has the same attitude. I think Kim is a real chick; if she recognized that Nicki’s career is going great, she would’ve acknowledged it. But, if she won’t even do that, is it because something happened or is happening that we don’t know about. I’m not sure….please excuse my Sherlock Holmes moment.
But damn Kim, just make YOUR music and keep it moving. Isn’t there enough room for everyone?