Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Laredo Tribune. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
Daughter of Lil Kim
Currently Known For:
2014 - Present
June 9, 2014
Daughter of Lil Kim
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During the 1990s, there weren’t many rappers that were quite as popular as Lil’ Kim. Back when the rap rivalry between the east coast and west coast was at its hottest, Kim was at the forefront for those from New York City. Kim had a lot of hits and was associated with some legendary rappers, as well, and many consider Kim to be the greatest female MC ever. Though she went away from the scene in the mid 2000s, Kim is now back and has a much different look, and this time also has a child with her for the first time: Royal Reign.
Kim comes from the Brooklyn borough of New York City, where she was also raised. It wasn’t an easy childhood for Kim as her parents divorced at a young age. She spent most of her time with her father, a former Marine, whom she didn’t have the best relationship with. Because things were tough, Kim decided to drop out of school for a brief time before returning. During that time, Kim had made friends with a lot of future rappers.
When she was 19 years old, Kim (who was born as Kim Jones) started rapping with Junior M.A.F.I.A. where she adopted her stage name. The group released their first album in 1995, and while it didn’t hit it big on the mainstream, it made Kim a popular name in New York City. Things would only look up from there as Kim embarked on a solo career.
In 1996, Kim’s first studio album was released with “Hard Core”. The album reached number 11 on the Billboard charts thanks to hits such as “No Time” and “Not Tonight”, both of which found their way to the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, Kim has had many hits both as the top billed artist (including “Lady Marmalade” and “Magic Stick”), as well as featured appearances in songs like “It’s All About the Benjamins”, “Can’t Hold Us Down” and “Let It Go”. To this point, Kim has sold over 15 million albums, as well as 30 million singles.
Kim’s extensive history of dating fellow rappers has been well known. After all, the relationship that she had with Christopher Wallace, a.k.a Notorious B.I.G., has been well documented in the news and in entertainment. Kim nearly had her first child while she was with Wallace, but terminated the pregnancy. During the 2000s, she dated several other rappers that included Ray J, before meeting Jeremey Neil.
Neil is a lesser known rapper, who goes by Mr. Papers. The two eventually got married, and there was something that Kim wanted to tell her family, friends and fans. “I couldn’t have wished for a more special day,” Kim said when announcing her pregnancy. “I’m just so excited to be having a little princess. She’s just going to be so girly and fabulous - just like her mommy.”
Kim and Neil have since split since getting married and having a daughter. Royal Reign was born on June 9, 2014. “It was life changing and I want to share a small piece of my pride and joy with you on my special day today,” Kim said after Royal was born.
One of the headlines that came about during the pregnancy was Kim sharing her baby registry to her fans on the internet. There weren’t many low-ticket items, either, with several of the items costing hundreds of dollars. Some called it “tacky,” but her party responded. “She wanted her fans to get involved,” a source said.
Neil has been quite vocal about wanting to see his daughter more often, even writing songs about the topic of custody. “I know she’s an idol, she’s an icon,” Neil said in his song “The Worst” while referencing Lil’ Kim. He added that boxer Floyd Mayweather has been in Royal’s life more than he has, and he wants that to change. It made headlines when Neil posted a video on Instagram, tagging Kim. “He wants her to notice how hurt he feels, even choosing a quintessentially emotional track for the occasion,” a source said.
Neil has tried to file for custody of his daughter for years now. His publicist said that Neil “is literally just trying to see her. He’s been trying to do it very quietly.” There had been counterclaims that say that Neil shouldn’t receive custody due to an abusive pattern, to which his legal team responded, “They had a lot of challenges with regard to being faithful and infidelity,” but denied any abuse.
Even with the custody battle still going on, Kim decided to get back into something that she’s known for a long time: music. Lil’ Kim released the album “9” in 2019, which was the first time that she released an album since 2005’s “The Naked Truth”. Kim was asked about the title, and said it was partly because Royal was born on June 9, as well as other significant milestones in her life. Royal was also at the forefront of Kim’s mind when making the album. “There are songs children can listen to, too,” Kim said.
Royal even had a hand in helping her mother to promote the album. Royal has been a big part of Kim’s social media pages, which has included several videos asking people to listen to “9”. It’s nice to have an extra hand in the promotional field, especially when you’ve taken so much time away between albums.