Inside Lil Kim’s Relationship With Notorious B.I.G.

Lil’ Kim is widely considered one of the most influential rappers of all time: not only did she smash the glass ceiling for the women who came after her, but she kept up with the iconic hip-hop artists that defined the ’90s. One of those rappers, with whom she also had a notoriously difficult romantic relationship, was The Notorious B.I.G., or Biggie Smalls.

In an interview with People, Kim shared a tender story about Biggie and how they first realized his career was taking off. The pair got their earliest taste of fame in California when a crowd recognized him for the first time. “I was like, ‘You don’t see all these people looking at you and screaming your name?’ And he was just talking to me very humbly still,” Kim revealed. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ This was before I got really big, so I was in awe.”‘

“I remember taking out this stupid cardboard camera I bought from the bodega. I was like, ‘I gotta take a picture of you Big.’ He was like, ‘Girl, put that camera away. You see me every day. You ain’t gotta take no picture.’ But I was like, ‘Smile,’ and he did. He was so mad, but he knew that he would’ve wanted to see that picture too,” she continued. 

Since the ’90s, their relationship has gone down as one of popular music’s most iconic. Here’s everything to know about Lil’ Kim and Biggie Smalls’ time together. 

Kim first met Biggie while she was couch-surfing

Lil’ Kim had a turbulent home life, and she first met Biggie Smalls after a period of homelessness in her teens. She rapped for him on the corner of Fulton Street in Brooklyn and impressed him so much that she was able to join his group Junior M.A.F.I.A. in 1995. Although Biggie had married Faith Evans the year before, they also began having an affair.

“He became my friend, my lover, my everything. I was his biggest fan.” Kim told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

As Clover Hope wrote in her book The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop, the relationship between Kim and Biggie has become “part of hip-hop lore.” Although Lil’ Kim wrote most of her own lyrics, Biggie Smalls helped shape her “cadence” and “flow,” coaching her to have a successful career. Kierna Mayo, the founding editor-in-chief of Honey, called Biggie “a Svengali of sorts, and she was his loyal concubine. And it was dramatic and sometimes tragic to see.” 

Though the couple certainly had good times, they weren’t without bad ones either. 

Kim described Biggie as "very violent"

While Lil’ Kim was recording her debut album Hard Core in 1996, she discovered that she was pregnant. Knowing that the father was Biggie Smalls, she decided to have an abortion. Kim told The Source (via Style Rave), “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.”

The relationship could be “very violent,” as she admitted in 2017 on Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning (via HipHopDX). Kim confirmed that a story Jermaine Dupri had told about Biggie pulling a gun on her was “very close to the truth,” and told Power 105 that he once choked her until she passed out.

Their last conversation took place only a few days before Biggie was shot on March 9, 1997. As she revealed on 106 & Park, the two were “going through some things” when he called her about a professional matter. However, he told her he loved her and that she was “a beautiful person, inside and out.”  

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. You can also find more information, resources, and support at www.thehotline.org.

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