Hard Core (Lil' Kim album) Hard Core
is the debut studio album
by American rapper Lil' Kim
. It was released on November 12, 1996, by Undeas Recordings
, Big Beat Records
, and Atlantic Records
. After achieving success with the hip hop group Junior M.A.F.I.A.
and their album Conspiracy
(1995), Kim began working on her solo album with The Notorious B.I.G.
serving as the executive producer (besides this, he performed on four songs). She collaborated with a number of producers, such as Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs
, Stevie J.
, David "Ski" Willis
and Jermaine Dupri
, among others. Other rappers, including Jay-Z
, Lil' Cease
and Puff Daddy
were featured on the album.
The album was notable for its overt raunchy sexual tone and Kim's lyrical delivery, which was praised by music critics and is considered a classic album. Hard Core
debuted at number 11 on the US Billboard 200
and at number three on the Billboard'
s Top R&B Albums
, selling 78,000 copies in its first week, while reaching number 26 of the Canadian Albums Chart
. The album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA), and has sold over five million copies worldwide.
Guest artists included Jay-Z
, The Notorious B.I.G.
, and other members of Junior M.A.F.I.A.
The promotional campaign for the album, including the album cover, featured provocative advertisements of Kim dressed in a skimpy bikini and surrounded by furs.
During the recording sessions, Kim and B.I.G made a demo for the track "Street Dreams", never released officially. "Big Momma Thang" was originally intended to be a diss towards Faith Evans
but was re-recorded after Biggie disapproved of it. The verse containing remarks against Faith was replaced by Jay-Z's vocals while the third verse, which had a diss on 2Pac, was re-recorded by Kim.
The first two singles from Hard Core
, the gold-certified "No Time
" and the remix version of "Crush on You
" both peaked in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100
, top 10 of the Hot R&B Singles
chart, and topped the Rap Songs
chart, making Lil' Kim the first female rap artist to have two consecutive number-one singles on that chart. Both singles peaked in the top 50 of the UK Singles Chart
. A third single, "Not Tonight
" (Remix), became a huge top 10 success in 1997, peaking at number six on the Hot 100, number three on the Hot R&B Singles chart, and topping the Rap Songs chart. The single also reached the top 20 on the UK chart and number 10 in Germany. The single was certified platinum by the RIAA.
It was nominated in 1998 for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
. “Big Momma Thang” was released to commercial radio in the fall of 1996.
received critical acclaim. The Source
called the album "a solid debut because phat beats and rhymes are really all it takes, and they're both present",
while Rolling Stone
magazine included Hard Core
in its list of "Essential Recordings of the 90's".
In 2003, PopMatters
wrote, "Track for track, Hard Core's thuggette-auctioneering flow melds the perfect hybrid of yoni
power Mafioso and Park Avenue
duchess." Rolling Stone
concluded in reviewing the album in the magazine's 2004 version of The Rolling Stone Album Guide
Hip-hop had never seen anything like Brooklynite Kimberly Jones at the time of her solo debut: She single-handedly raised the bar for raunchy lyrics in hip-hop, making male rappers quiver with fear with lines like "You ain't lickin' this, you ain't stickin' this . . . I don't want dick tonight/Eat my pussy right" ("Not Tonight"). Riding the wing of Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die
's Reasonable Doubt
, Kim's Hard Core
helped put East Coast hip-hop back on top in the late '90s. The album's overreliance on old '70s funk samples doesn't detract a bit from the Queen Bee's fearless rhymes: In "Dreams", she demands service from R. Kelly
, and nearly every "R&B dick" in the field. A landmark of bold, hilarious filth.
debuted and peaked at number 11 on the US Billboard 200
and at number three on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
selling 78,000 copies in its first week.
Despite not spending another week inside the top 30,
the album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) on March 14, 2001,
and had sold 1,489,701 copies in the United States by November 2011.
In Canada, the album peaked at number 62.
As of November 2016, Hard Core
had sold over five million copies worldwide.
In August 2018, the album entered the top 10 Hip Hop/Rap Albums chart on iTunes, reaching number six despite the album being released nearly 22 years prior and eventually reached number one for a short time. It also peaked at number 22 on the overall albums chart on iTunes.
- "No Time", "Take It!", "Crush on You", "Drugs" and "Fuck You" feature additional vocals by The Notorious B.I.G.
- The intro of "Spend a Little Doe" is performed by Big Troy and Lil' Kim, and its hook is performed by Fela.
- The interlude of "Take It!" is performed by Lil' Cease and Trife.
- "Dreams" features additional vocals and a hook performed by Adilah.
- The hook of "We Don't Need It" is performed by Junior M.A.F.I.A.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Hard Core
Weekly chart performance for Hard Core
Certifications for Hard Core
- ^ Cummings, Jozen (May 2006). "Crime Doesn't Pay". Vibe. Vol. 14 no. 5. p. 56. ISSN 1070-4701 – via Google Books. With scanty clothing and the cachet that comes with having what many consider a classic album, Hard Core, Lil' Kim was one of the few female rappers whose consistent platinum sales showed that she could play with the big boys.
- ^ Rodriguez, Kenny (August 9, 2006). "Legendary Hit Factory Studio Turning Into Condos". NobodySmiling.com. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- ^ "Lil Kim Biography". Starpulse. Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- ^ "Why 70% Of Women Should Know Lil' Kim's Hardcore Album". The Source. July 11, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- ^ "Hardcore: Lil Kim: Music". Amazon. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- ^ "Lil Kim". Hip Hop Galaxy. March 14, 2007. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- ^ "American certifications – Lil Kim – Not Tonight". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Hard Core – Lil' Kim". AllMusic. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- ^ Bernard, James (January 10, 1997). "Hard Core". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 27, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ Simelane, Vukile (February 1, 2005). "Lil' Kim :: Hardcore :: Undeas Recording/Big Beat". RapReviews. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- ^ Kemp, Rob (2004). "Lil' Kim". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 486. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ a b "Lil' Kim: Hard Core". The Source. No. 87. December 1996. p. 132. ISSN 1063-2085.
- ^ Bernstein, Jonathan (December 1996). "Lil' Kim: Hard Core". Spin. Vol. 12 no. 9. p. 141. ISSN 0886-3032 – via Google Books.
- ^ "Essential Recordings of the 90's". Rolling Stone. May 13, 1999. p. 76. ISSN 0035-791X.
- ^ Sawyer, Terry (February 21, 2003). "Lil' Kim: Hardcore". PopMatters. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ "Lil' Kim: Biography". Rolling Stone. April 23, 2009. Archived from the original on April 23, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: The Week of November 30, 1996". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- ^ a b Mayfield, Geoff (July 15, 2000). "Between the Bullets: Hit-Hop". Billboard. Vol. 112 no. 29. p. 112. ISSN 0006-2510 – via Google Books.
- ^ a b "American album certifications – Lil' Kim – Hard Core". Recording Industry Association of America. March 14, 2001. Retrieved January 2, 2014. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.
- ^ a b "Lil' Kim's Hard Core vs. Foxy Brown's Ill Na Na". XXL. November 18, 2011. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
- ^ a b "Top RPM Albums: Issue 9804". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ Preezy, Brown (November 12, 2016). "A Definitive Track Ranking Of Lil Kim's 'Hard Core' Album". Vibe. Retrieved June 9, 2017. ...with more than 5 million copies sold worldwide, making it the most successful release from a female rapper at the time.
- ^ "Revisiting the "Female Rap Bible," Lil' Kim's 'Hard Core'". Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- ^ a b c Hard Core (liner notes). Lil' Kim. Atlantic Records. 1996. 92733-2.
- ^ "Chart Log UK: 1994–2010: DJ Steve L. – LZ Love". Zobbel.de. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ "Lil' Kim Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
- ^ "Lil' Kim Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
- ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1997". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
- ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1997". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
Last edited on 27 July 2021, at 11:41
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0
unless otherwise noted.