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"Lil Kim performance" [RealVideo]
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Lil' Kim on...
"handling my business"
label hassles
what an artist wants...
writing her own lyrics
working with Puffy (again)
life after B.I.G.
the notorious B.O.O.T.L.E.G.
putting her muscle behind Dre
changing life, changing music
getting bossy in the studio
couture & other girly stuff
Mom, Dad, & the Poconos
"what's your sign?"
her feud with Foxy
hardcore lyrics vs. creativity
Watch Lil' Kim...
"No Matter What They Say" [RealVideo]
"Crush On You" [RealVideo]
"No Time" [RealVideo]
Listen to Lil' Kim...
"Hold On" feat. Mary J. Blige [RealAudio]

Loder: Your album, of course, has been bootlegged. How annoying is that?

Kim: Very annoying. Oh my God.

Loder: When did you find out about it? Did somebody come running in and say, "Oh my God, I bought it on the street?"

Kim: Yeah. More than one person. This is when it really bothered me: I have a girlfriend who's away. She just graduated from college. She lives in North Carolina, and she called me up and was like, "I just bought your CD, and it isn't out," and I'm like, "What? What do you mean?" She described every song. There was about seven songs, and I'm like, "Oh, my goodness." That's when I knew it was real, because she was all the way out in North Carolina. Then I got a call three weeks later from a fan -- fans get my number [to] my house and cell phone, I don't know how -- but this fan just called me up and was like, "You know, Kim, I just wanna say I got your CD, and it's hot, and..." You know what I mean? I'm like, "Who are you, number one..."

Loder: "And where did you get my CD?"

Kim: "And you live where?" He's, like, in San Francisco, California. I'm like, "Oh, my goodness." I knew it was real then. So I made a few calls, and we got on top of the problem. Then it got even bigger. They were bootlegging and selling my album overseas. I had to send my troop over there and kinda pick up whatever was out there. One thing about bootlegging is once it's out there, it's out there. It's hard to get it back. What I did, though, was in honor of my fans. I went back in and I recorded eleven extra songs.

Loder: Whoa.

Kim: You could only imagine. We had only about three weeks to do it. Sometimes it takes me three days to write a song. It can take me three weeks to write a song. Sometimes I have writer's block. I want it to be perfect.

Loder: What do you think when your bootleg comes out? Do you start thinking, "Was it my sound guy?" Do you get paranoid?

Kim: With all this modern technology today, you don't know what it could be. When you're recording in ProTools, people, if they're on the Internet or their computer, they can download while you're recording. It's ridiculous. It hurts, because this is our livelihood. It's how we make our money. It's how we eat. This what we do -- this is what we want to do. It's hard, because these songs are dry. They're not mixed, they're not mastered.

Loder: What do you think about the Napster phenomenon, and Dr. Dre suing these people?

Kim: I'm all for him. Do your thing. I'm going to get behind you, Dre. Because it's ridiculous. It's really not fair. It's stealing. It's cheating. It's just not right. There has to be a way to handle it. What they do, anyway, is they take our stuff and they sell it and make money off of it, so we might as well get our money back from them.

Loder: Have you been working out a lot? You seem more muscular.

Kim: Well, yeah, I work out, but I'm trying to keep in shape. I kinda work out to keep my mind clear, I would say. It kind of relaxes me. I had to figure out a way I could feel relaxed, because I kind of felt I was uptight for a little while, with a lot of the things I've been going through and a lot of the mischief I have seen.

Loder: Is your personal life fine and balanced out now? You have a boyfriend or anything you can tell us about?

Kim: No. I can't say it's balanced out, but I can definitely say that I'm content on the road that I'm going to be balanced out and to be happy. There's a lot of things that make me unhappy, like when my record label makes me unhappy and they don't do what I want them to do, 'cause they have to understand that everything has to be perfect, especially when you haven't been seen in the past three years and people don't know, kinda. Especially with me.

I'm trying to change music and the way the direction of music is going. I like to do different stuff. My new single, "No Matter What They Say," is different, and that was my whole reason for doing it. I love it. It has a calypso flavor, which is kind of popular these days.

Loder: [What do you do] when you go in the studio?

Kim: One thing that I'm going to get more into on my next album is producing my own music. That was another reason that took my album a little long, too, was I tried to go back to all the original producers that I worked with on "Hard Core," [and] they weren't giving me what I wanted. The only way you can change music is if you know what you want as an artist. I knew what I wanted right off the bat.

I wanted music that everyone can listen to. I love rock music, I love R&B music, I love rap music. I've been listening to music since I was a baby, so I know all kinds of music. I like to put it all together, you know what I mean? I used to love to go to the Dance Theater Of Harlem with my mom, so I know that kind of music.

Some of the producers that I worked with, they just didn't know what I want, so I worked with new producers this time, and I kind of told them what I wanted. I would get sounds in my head, I don't know where they would come from, and I would say, "I want something that goes like this," and I would hum it or sing it, and they would make it to be. That's what makes a good producer. That's what makes a good team.

Loder: Where do you get these little outfits? Are they hard to find?

Kim: Some of them are, because some of them come from overseas. I'm very fortunate to have designers who love me, and when they design their lines, they think of me. Oh, Donatella [Versace], she makes outfits for me. That's just my girl. I support her to the fullest. If I'm in Miami, I'll walk into the store and just buy something, just so I can have my normal Donatella Versace look if I don't have anything with me.

Loder: And keep food on her table.

Kim: Yeah. And then I have a stylist... she always picks out, like, really wonderful, cute little things that no one may have. We're basically off of the couture shows. We love couture clothes.

Taking good care of Mom, spirituality and astrology, and growing up lyrically... NEXT