“Think about it,” she told the writer Kristal Brent Zook. I think doing photo shoots and seeing all the people respond to me has helped.“The girls that [men] dated when I was younger were light-skinned and tall. [But] I still don’t see what they see.”Around the same time as Kim's debut, the public was introduced to another provocative female rapper by the name of Foxy Brown, whose debut album, Christopher Wallace discovered Kim and developed her as an artist —they became lovers too, though their relationship was far from exclusive: Wallace famously slept around.Linwood, a former military man, had reportedly become physically abusive towards his wife — Kim told the Washington Post in 2000 that she remembered her mom having black eyes, and that “my father told people she had fallen.” (Linwood has never responded publicly to Kim’s allegations.)Kim moved with her mother and brother to suburban New Rochelle, NY, where some of the girls in their new, all-white neighborhood teased Kim about her skin color.
According to Kim he became increasingly verbally abusive and their relationship took a violent turn — Kim once stabbed him with a pair of scissors. In the years that followed, she sometimes stayed with neighbors, or with older men who housed and fed her — in return for sex.His death hit her hard: she believed he was the only man who had ever loved her for who she was.She struggled to move on, revealing to Newsweek three years after Wallace’s death that she still kept some of his ashes in an urn at her home in New Jersey.Like its two predecessors, the album was also certified platinum.At the time Missy Elliott was the only other female MC with three platinum albums.Even after she found success, the wounds seemed not to have entirely healed.It begged the question: is Lil' Kim a feminist icon, or a victim, or perhaps even both? I think being Lil' Kim the rapper helped me deal with it better.She came from a broken home, and as a teenager had endured a violent relationship with her father.As a result she ran away and fell into an outwardly glamorous, but dangerous and exploitative world of pimps and drug dealers.In March 2001, she joined forces with singers Christina Aguilera, Pink and Mya — with Missy Elliott and Rockwilder producing — to remake Patti Labelle's "Lady Marmalade" for the soundtrack.Despite never being officially released as a single, it held the No. The following year it won a Grammy award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals — firmly establishing Kim as one of the most sought-after rappers of the early 21st century. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart in March 2003, Lil' Kim’s third album, , featured collaborations with Missy Elliott and 50 Cent — with Timbaland and Kanye West among the producers.