Lil Kim

Lil Kim

Kimberly Denise Jones, was born on July 11, 1975, to parents Linwood Jones and Ruby Mae. She is of Native American and African American descent. Standing just 4 feet 11 inches tall Kimberly Jones seems much less than being just your average girl in the hood, but when "Lil' Kim" was introduced to the world she became known for her provocative over-the-top outfits, glamorous blonde hair-dos, pornographic attitude, sexy man-crazed looks, and a groundbreaking triumph that eventually secured her place as one of the few female rappers in a male-dominated industry. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Kimberly was born into a broken home, by age 9 her parents had filed for divorce, leaving her and older brother Christopher under the custody of their father. A rebellious child living under the strict rules of her dad, Kimberly and her father had constant fights, and eventually she ran away from home. As a teenager she lived with friends, drug-dealing boyfriends, and, occasionally, on the streets. After meeting her mentor and life saver Christopher Wallace, (Notorious B.I.G/Biggie Smalls), she began to clean up her life and it was Christopher who helped her develop a career in music. By then Kimberly had taken in the slogan "Lil' Kim" after her height and curbing her name to just Kim.

With the help of Christopher she became the only female member of the short lived rap group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Their 1995 debut album Conspiracy debuted at 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and garnered the hit singles "Player's Anthem" (13) and "Get Money" (17). Following the release, Lil' Kim appeared on records by Mona Lisa, the Isley Brothers, Total, and Skin Deep. And it was obvious that it was time for her to come out with her own solo album, and that's just what she did in 1996, with the release of "Hard Core". Lil' Kim's marketing campaign for the album was quite challenging - she was dressed in a skimpy bikini and furs in advertisements, as well as the album covers - but instead of resulting in criticism, the album became a hit, debuting at 11 on the pop charts. The first single from the album, "No Time" a duet with Sean "Puffy" Combs, became a 1 rap single and 20 on the pop charts. A top ten single followed with "Not Tonight" (6). But while Lil Kim's career was blossoming, her life was shattered along with the music world when her father like figure Notorious B.I.G. was murdered on March 9, 1997.

Following that incident, Lil' Kim took a hiatus from recording her own music, but she still kept busy with a string of other projects. She was one of the featured performers of Puff Daddy's highly successful 1998 "Bad Boy Tour", and built her own business with the launch of Queen Bee Records, with Lil' Kim herself as CEO. Her long-awaited "Notorious K.I.M." was released in the summer of 2000 under the Queen Bee record label and debuted at 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Charts. By then, she had lost weight but still kept the sexual techniques and provocative antics coming for fans that were hungry for more. She had also taken a shift into films debuting in the 1999 teen flick "She's All That" and playing Tina Parker in the 2002 comedy "Juwanna Man". In 2001 Lil Kim gained her first 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in a remake of Patti Labelle's hit "Lady Marmalade" that collaborated her with singers Mya, Pink, and Christina Aguilera, the success awarded them a Grammy in 2002 for Best Pop Collaboration. Her third full-length album "La Bella Mafia" was released in 2003 debuting at 5 on the pop charts and earned her two more hits with "The Jump Off" (17) and "Magic Stick/feat.50Cent" that shot to 2. Her album The Naked Truth released in September 2005 debuted at No. 6 on Billboard's Top 200 Album's chart and sold 109,000 copies during the first week of its release.

Phranchyze

Phranchyze is The Black Larry Bird

"Phranchyze is quite literally battling his way to national prominence. The 26-year-old local rapper, otherwise known as financial adviser J.J. Shaw, is an emerging star…" (Austin Powell of Austin Chronicle).

The Nigerian-American born Jason Herman Alan-Jamal Shaw-Ogunro, JJ, has been curating his combative inflections in Austin since junior high. At the age of 16, Phranchyze won seven local hip-hop battles in a row, and knew that he had found his craft. Today, Featured in the international "battle" spotlight, he's consistently more jarring, charismatic, funny, and witty than any competitors. Phranchyze's YouTube portfolio of rap battles is conducive to wasting work hours. Having released over five full length albums and mix-tapes, his studio work is often regarded as vivid, concise rhymes mixed with compelling, moving beats. Over the past ten years, Phranchyze's unheard of "freestyle" skill has created a unique image that evokes intelligent, affluent thought.

Whether for underground hip-hop networks like Grind Time Now, or Eminem-sanctioned Red Bull promos, Phranchyze's features are top notch, winding, eight-to-ten minute slabs of humanism. In 2007, he cruised to the finals of the World Rap Championships, instinctively touting his Austin, Texas roots with a chip on his shoulder. Placing 3rd at the international finals in New York City, Phranchyze was able to add another impressive title to his other success:

2 x Rap Olympics Champion '04

World Rap Championships Houston Division Winner '07

5 X No Hurt Feelings Freestyle Battle Champion '07, '08

Toyota Scion "Keys to the City" Freestyle Battle Champion '08

2 x Epedemiic Freestly Battle Champion '09, '10

Red Bull "Road to Eight Mile" Freestlye Champion '10

5x Voted top ten in Austin Hip-Hop: '06, '07, '08′ '09 '10.

Phranchyze's battle career has developed a unique personality for the rapper, and has differentiated his brand in the international genre.

"He'll do homework on adversaries and pen exquisite one-liners, but leave the room and you will find a man that can flip a moment and leave an album in stitches with signatures." On Flowmasters (2006, 2007), Phranchyze was smooth, crispy, and hungry to show the world his abilities. His crossover style burst on Customs (2008), and featured themes that blew the album into a behemoth regional sneaker pimp anthem he'd win you over with. Released at the SXSW festival in 2009, Errybody Hates Me, took the flow high octane. Featuring mix-tape legend DJ Rapid Ric, the work featured Phranchyzes love for Austin and annoyance with popular culture. The Black Larry Bird was Phranchyze unhinged. Featuring stalker odes to porn stars, learned hometown hero raps brimming with persona, his biggest hooks, best laid to wax stanzas, and over the top production value, the album is Phranchyze's latest work and beginning to grow esteem in the local and regional marketplace.

Explore the region and you will find that Phranchyze not only freestyles, but writes and creates unique material. With packed, sweaty, and booming shows around Texas, Phranchyze has set the table for an aggressively fruitful 2011. It'll be a banner year.

Kid Slyce

$25

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