What prison really was like for Lil’ Kim

Kimberly Denise Jones, also known as Lil’ Kim, is arguably one of the greatest rappers of all time. After being discovered by none other than Christopher Wallace, the Notorious BIG, Lil’ Kim’s career began cementing her place in hip-hop in the mid-’90s. “I think God brought us together for a reason, and it was to leave that kind of legacy,” she said during an interview with iHeartRadio. “I don’t see it any differently.”

For more than two decades, the ‘Crush on You’ rapper has been a staple of the music industry, and aside from releasing chart-topping hits, the Grammy-winning rapper also made history as “one of only three female rappers to have triple-platinum albums,” according to biography. But despite all of Lil’ Kim’s accolades, she’s somehow convinced she has more work to do. “In my eyes, I still climb,” she told The Guardian. “I’m still taking myself to the next level in my career.”

Although the “Magic Stick” rapper has had quite an impressive career, she still experienced many ups and downs on her road to stardom. Unfortunately, this included some jail time for the rapper, though her stint behind bars wasn’t what you’d imagine.

Lil’ Kim was given a warm welcome to prison

Speaking to MTV News in 2011, Lil’ Kim revealed that her arrival in prison went more smoothly than expected. “I was welcomed with open arms,” ​​the Brooklyn rapper told the outlet. “I met a lot of good people there who are still my friends to this day.” The Lighters Up artist also admitted that she “slept so well for the first three weeks,” considering she worked around the clock prior to her sentencing. “I never slept, ever [rested] at all for two months at a time. … When I got there, I just broke down.”

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Aside from the sincere love she received from within, she also received a lot of support from high profile celebrities on the outside as well. Lil’ Kim told MTV News about the time Oprah Winfrey sent her her favorite books in hopes of motivating the rapper. “She wrote me a letter in every book and just said, ‘Kim, you have so much potential,'” the ‘No Matter What They Say’ artist said. “You are a very bright young girl.”

Although she received a warm welcome, Lil’ Kim revealed some negativity she was experiencing. “The haters and the haters that showed up were low key until they went out here and gave fake interviews about me,” she told XXL. “[S]Sometimes people are looking for their little two minutes of fame.” Such a polarizing reaction begs the question – why exactly did Lil’ Kim go to jail in the first place?

Lil’ Kim went to jail for lying to a judge

According to Billboard, in 2006, Lil’ Kim faced three counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy for lying to a grand jury about a 2001 shooting that took place outside a New York City radio station to protect her friends from going to jail . Lil’ Kim was sentenced to a year and a day behind bars for her criminal activities and was fined a hefty $50,000. “I can tell you this is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through,” the rapper told the judge (via Crime Museum). “At the time I thought it was the right thing to do, but now I know I was wrong.”

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Despite facing a maximum of 20 years, Judge Gerard Lynch changed his mind because Lil’ Kim had accepted full responsibility for her actions. “You’re sending this message that there’s important value in telling the truth,” the judge said (via The Guardian). “Going to prison to protect violent men with guns is not heroic.” Another important factor in Lil’ Kim receiving a lighter sentence was the fact that Lynch feared backlash if, as The Guardian puts it, he “sent a young black entertainer to prison for a lot longer than Martha Stewart.” .

While going to prison at the peak of your career can be tough, Lil’ Kim ended up lucky and had a pretty good experience.