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 Will Smith, move over. The Queen is on the big screen ...



Page 2


 Lil' Cease struggles to get out of his recording contract with Kim ...



Page 3


 Politicking with the real mafia is what makes Kim feel the most secure ...



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Lil' Cease is just as angry with Kim these days as she is with him. His biggest beef with her is not that she cut him off — it's that she won't let him go. He's so miffed at his onetime homegirl that he's started a "Free Cease A Leo" T-shirt campaign.

  "We had our differences [and] I thought we could patch them up, but ..."
— Lil' Cease
"I'm locked in a five-year contract with [Kim]," said Cease, who's signed as a solo artist to Queen Bee Records. Other than albums that Kim herself has recorded, Cease's poor-selling but critically acclaimed 1999 solo debut, The Wonderful World of Cease A Leo, is the only release to come from the Queen Bee Records imprint since it was founded in 1998.

"She's putting all this stuff out like she's not messing with me right now," Biggie's puffy-cheeked former best friend fumed. "I feel like if you [are] not messing with me, give me walking papers so I can do me. We had our differences [and] I thought we could patch them up, but honey is doing her thing. I'm not knocking her, but she still got me under paperwork. [I've] been trying to get in touch with her, [but] she's ducking me. I call the office, [but] she don't want to talk to me. I go to the office [and] I can't see her."

"There's a lot of truth to what Cease was saying," Kim retorted with a snarl before clamming up. "I don't really want to get into that. The only thing I'm concerned with is La Bella Mafia being in stores. The whole truth will come out later and I can't wait."

Although Kim is being clandestine and won't say exactly when her and the Mafia started to fall out, she is more than willing to reveal when her relationship with her former manager, mentor, friend and Notorious K.I.M.'s executive producer P. Diddy went south. 

"I can honestly say that during the whole process of [making Notorious K.I.M.], Puff and I were like a brother and a sister arguing," said the 26-year-old. "One minute we'd be the best of friends, and then the next minute things weren't working out at all," Kim said. "Sometimes Puffy likes people to do whatever he says. I'm a creative person, an entertainer. I'm a boss lady. A lot of times when you [are] working with a boss man, you have to respect each other's opinion. I just wanted my respect and because I was young and female, I don't think he gave it to me fully."

"I'm a hard coach from beginning to end," Diddy said unapologetically about his meticulous work ethic. "I'mma push an artist to [be] the best. Some artists feel [like], 'I've grown up, and I don't want you to push me this hard no more.' I can't really do that. I'm not crazy or anything, I just want to be the best. We gotta be the best every time."

Kim said she was also hurt because when times got tough for her after Notorious K.I.M. received mixed reactions, Diddy abandoned her.

"I loved Puffy with all my heart, [and] if you look back, I was the only one supporting him. [At the time we were making my album] I wasn't even signed to Bad Boy," she vented. "During those times I held his hands, like, 'I know these people hate you right now, but I'm with you, dawg.' Puffy can be very selfish. I had to let him go do him and I had to go do me. I needed people at that time that was going to support me 150 percent. I was only getting 50 percent. Unfortunately, I don't speak to him at all."

  "I think it's [about] people outgrowing each other." — P. Diddy
P. Diddy, who seems indifferent about the split, offers a simpler explanation: "I think it's [about] people outgrowing each other and people wanting different things."

While Kim hasn't cut off all her old friends, she has been gravitating toward a new crowd on the road to becoming a better-rounded person. One of her biggest cheerleaders now is Victoria Gotti, a multimedia personality and the daughter of late mob boss John Gotti. The two met over a year ago at an event in New Jersey and have built a nurturing relationship. They've done their share of partying and have at least one big adventure in common: The line-slinging siren recently held her buddy to a long-standing promise to appear in one of her videos. In February, the pair braved the bitter cold to shoot the unreleased clip for Kim's song "I Came Back For You" in front of the Brooklyn Bridge. Gotti says she'd do anything for her homie.

"It's weird because she's everything she is onstage and nothing like her [persona]," Gotti said, describing why such a diverse group of people show Kim love. "She is a chameleon. She can just rise to [any] occasion and fit whatever mood everybody's in. That's the one thing I adore about Kim, [and] that's the first thing that shines through. Forget her looks, forget her outrageous outfits — she's got personality that's second to none."

And what Kim's hoping for is that soon, her success in all fields will be second to none. Even as her fan base broadens, she maintains that she'll never forget the gig that first put her on to all the other opportunities. In fact, she is as hungry as ever to stand out and rock the mic.

  "I don't ever worry about competition," she says confidently in regards to her fellow female rappers. "I do a totally different thing from all these females. Everybody feels that 'I have to be at the top.' We can all be at the top selling records. There is no 'I'm better.' I know I'm a Queen and I do what I do.' "

  And what she is doing is everything.


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Photo: Atlantic/Queen Bee

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 "The Jumpoff"
La Bella Mafia
(Queen Bee/Atlantic)



 "Came Back For You"
La Bella Mafia
(Queen Bee/Atlantic)



 "Heavenly Father"
La Bella Mafia
(Queen Bee/Atlantic)



 "No Time"
Hardcore
(Queen Bee/Atlantic)



 "Crush On You"
Hardcore
(Queen Bee/Atlantic)



 "How Many Licks"
Notorious K.I.M.
(Queen Bee/Atlantic)



 "No Matter What They Say"
Notorious K.I.M.
(Queen Bee/Atlantic)



 Ray J featuring Lil' Kim
"Wait A Minute"
This Ain't A Game
(Atlantic)





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