Hard Core (Lil' Kim album)

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Hard Core
Studio album by Lil' Kim
ReleasedNovember 12, 1996
Recorded1995–1996
GenreEast Coast hip hop, dirty rap, R&B
Length56:59
LabelUndeas, Big Beat
92733
ProducerSean "Puffy" Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Christopher "B.I.G." Wallace (exec.), Andraeo "Fanatic" Heard, Carlos "6 July" Broady, Stevie J., Ski, Jacob York (exec.) , Lance "Un" Rivera (exec.)
Lil' Kim chronology
Hard Core
(1996)
The Notorious K.I.M.
(2000)
Singles from Hard Core
  1. "No Time"
    Released: October 29, 1996
  2. "Crush on You"
    Released: January 3, 1997
  3. "Not Tonight (Remix)"
    Released: June 30, 1997
 
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Hard Core
Studio album by Lil' Kim
ReleasedNovember 12, 1996
Recorded1995–1996
GenreEast Coast hip hop, dirty rap, R&B
Length56:59
LabelUndeas, Big Beat
92733
ProducerSean "Puffy" Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Christopher "B.I.G." Wallace (exec.), Andraeo "Fanatic" Heard, Carlos "6 July" Broady, Stevie J., Ski, Jacob York (exec.) , Lance "Un" Rivera (exec.)
Lil' Kim chronology
Hard Core
(1996)
The Notorious K.I.M.
(2000)
Singles from Hard Core
  1. "No Time"
    Released: October 29, 1996
  2. "Crush on You"
    Released: January 3, 1997
  3. "Not Tonight (Remix)"
    Released: June 30, 1997

Hard Core is the debut studio album by American rapper Lil' Kim. On November 12, 1996, it was released, in the United States, by the Atlantic subsidiary Big Beat Records. The album was notable for its overt raunchy sexual tone and Kim's lyrical delivery, which was praised by music critics shortly after its release.

Hard Core debuted at number eleven on the U.S. Billboard 200, the highest debut for a female rap album at that time,[1] and number three on Billboard's Top R&B Albums, selling 78,000 copies in its first week of release,[2] and reached the top ten of the Canadian Albums Chart. In the United States, Hard Core was certified double platinum by the RIAA, and is considered by many a classic hip hop album.[3][4]

Contents

Release and reception

After making her debut recording appearance on Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s Conspiracy album, Lil' Kim appeared on records by artists such as Mona Lisa, the Isley Brothers, and Total. With recording her debut album, Hard Core was principally recorded at Manhattan-based studio, The Hit Factory, in New York City.[5] Working with a number of producers, including Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs and Jermaine Dupri, the album featured edgy hardcore rap and explicit sexuality, as the title suggested, which at the time were two territories that had long been the province of male rappers.[6]

Guest artists included Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., and other members of Junior M.A.F.I.A.[7] The promotional campaign for the album, including the album cover, featured provocative advertisements of Kim dressed in a skimpy bikini and surrounded by furs.[8]

Reception

Chart performance

The Hard Core album debuted and peaked at number eleven on the U.S. Billboard 200 and number three on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart,[9] selling 78,000 copies in its first week.[2] Despite not spending another week inside the top 30,[2] the album became a commercial success and went onto be certified double platinum by the RIAA, selling 2.2 million copies in the U.S. alone[10], and a combined 3 million worldwide. The album spent a total of 47 weeks on the Billboard 200.[11]

The first two singles from Hard Core, the platinum "No Time" and remix version of "Crush on You" both peaked in the top twenty on the Billboard Hot 100, top ten of the Hot R&B Singles chart, and topped the Rap Songs chart. Both singles peaked at in the top fifty in the UK Singles Chart. A third single "Not Tonight" became a huge top ten success in 1997, peaked at number six on the Hot 100, number three on the Hot R&B Singles chart, and also topped the Rap Songs chart, making Kim the first female rap artist to have three consecutive number-one singles on that chart. The single also reached the top twenty on the UK charts and number ten in Germany. The single was certified platinum by the RIAA.[12] It was nominated in 1998 for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

Critical response

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [13]
Entertainment Weekly(A) [14]
PopMatters(favorable) [15]
RapReviews.com(7/10)[16]
Rhapsody(favorable) [17]
Robert Christgau(choice cut)[18]
Rolling Stone4.5/5 stars [19]
Spin(7/10) [20]
The Source3.5/5 stars [20]

The album quickly garnered positive reviews, as 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".[20] Rolling Stone concluded in reviewing the album in the magazine's 2004 version of the Rolling Stone Album Guide[21]:

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 and Jay-Z'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, Babyface, and nearly every "R&B dick" in the field. A landmark of bold, hilarious filth.

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Intro in a-Minor"    2:14
2."Big Momma Thang" (featuring Jay-Z and Lil' Cease)Kimberly Jones, Harvey Fuqua, James Lloyd, Sylvester JamesStretch Armstrong4:17
3."No Time" (featuring Puff Daddy)Kimberly Jones, Steven JordanSteven "Stevie J" Jordan or The Hitmen5:00
4."Spend a Little Doe"  Kimberly Jones, David WillisSki5:35
5."Take It!"    0:46
6."Crush On You" (performed By Lil' Cease and The Notorious B.I.G.)Kimberly Jones, Cameron Giles, James Lloyd, Jeff Lorber, Mason BethaAndraeo "Fanatic" Heard4:35
7."Drugs" (featuring The Notorious B.I.G.)D. Owen, Kimberly Jones, Fabian Hamilton, Isaac HayesFabian Hamilton4:20
8."Scheamin'"    0:49
9."Queen Bitch"  Kimberly Jones, Carlos Broady, Nashiem MyrickCarlos "6 July" Broady & Nashiem Myrick for The Hitmen3:17
10."Dreams"  Kimberly Jones, Daven "Prestige" Vanderpool, Reggie AndrewsDaven "Prestige" Vanderpool for The Hitmen4:39
11."M.A.F.I.A. Land"  Kimberly Jones, Bert Kaempfert, Brent Toussaint, Herbert Rehbein, Richard AhlertBrent "Faraoh" Toussaint4:37
12."We Don't Need It" (featuring Junior M.A.F.I.A.)Kimberly Jones, James Lloyd, Mark Richardson, Rayshaun SpainMinnesota4:10
13."Not Tonight" (featuring Jermaine Dupri)Kimberly Jones, Jermaine DupriJermaine Dupri4:31
14."Player Haters"    0:43
15."Fuck You" (featuring Junior M.A.F.I.A.)Kimberly Jones, Antoine Spain, Chris Cresco, Christopher Wallace, Rayshaun SpainChris "Cornbread" Cresco
Christopher Wallace
2:53
1997 re-issue bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
16."Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)" (featuring Da Brat, Angie Martinez, Missy Elliott, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes)Carlos Crespo, K. Jones, Rick Spain, Chester WallaceArmando Colon, Rashad Smith4:14

Sample credits

Charts and certifications

Chart

Chart (1996)Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart9
U.S. Billboard 20011
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums3

Certifications

CountryCertification
(sales thresholds)
United States2× Platinum (RIAA)

Personnel

References

  1. ^ "Hard Core album". LilKim.com. http://web.archive.org/web/20000829155226/http://www.lilkim.com/bio6.html. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
  2. ^ a b c Mayfield, Geoff (2000-07-15). Between The Bullets - Hit Hop. Billboard Magazine. http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=-g8EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA112&dq=lil+kim+hard+core+first+week&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pL22UO_RN4LKiwKxtIHYAg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=lil%20kim%20hard%20core%20first%20week&f=false. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  3. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH_RESULTS&artist=Lil%20Kim&format=ALBUM&go=Search&perPage=50. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  4. ^ Vibe - Google Books. Books.google.com. http://books.google.com/books?id=6SYEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA56&dq=lil+kim+hardcore+classic&hl=en&ei=eGNmTqqhConvsgaKl-yhCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  5. ^ "Legendary Hit Factory Studio Turning Into Condos". 2008-12-05. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05. http://web.archive.org/web/20081205162959/http://www.nobodysmiling.com/hiphop/news/86554.php. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  6. ^ "Lil Kim Biography". Starpulse.com. http://www.starpulse.com/Music/Lil_Kim/Biography/. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  7. ^ "Hardcore: Lil Kim: Music". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Hardcore-Lil-Kim/dp/B000000112. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  8. ^ "Lil Kim". Hip Hop Galaxy. 2007-03-14. http://www.hiphopgalaxy.com/Lil-Kim-hip-hop-92.html. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  9. ^ "Lil Kim and Her Music 1994 -1999 - Yahoo! Voices". voices.yahoo.com. http://voices.yahoo.com/lil-kim-her-music-1994-1999-8882245.html. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  10. ^ http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/syltguides/fullview/1C2G2SQ9YQCYG
  11. ^ "The Billboard 200 1997-10-18". Billboard. 1997-10-18. http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/charts/chart-search-results/albums/3028390. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  12. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. http://www.riaa.org/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  13. ^ Birchmeier, Jason (1996-11-12). "Hard Core - Lil' Kim". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r244013. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  14. ^ Reviewed by James Bernard (1997-01-10). "Hardcore Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,286336,00.html. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  15. ^ Sawyer, Terry. "Lil' Kim: Hardcore < PopMatters". Popmatters.com. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/lilkim-hardcore/. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  16. ^ "Lil' Kim: Hardcore - Undeas Recording/Big Beat". Rapreviews.com. 2005-02-01. http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_kimhardcore.html. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  17. ^ Bwinning (1996-11-12). "Hard Core : Lil Kim". Rhapsody. http://www.rhapsody.com/artist/lil-kim/album/hard-core. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  18. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Lil' Kim". RobertChristgau.com. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=lil%27+kim. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  19. ^ The new Rolling Stone album guide - Nathan Brackett, Christian David Hoard - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. http://books.google.com/books?id=t9eocwUfoSoC&pg=PA486&lpg. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  20. ^ a b c "Lil' Kim - Hard Core CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 1996-11-12. http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1001105/a/Hard+Core.htm. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  21. ^ "Lil' Kim: Biography". Rollingstone.com. 2009-04-23. Archived from the original on 2009-04-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20090423133705/http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/lilkim/biography. Retrieved 2012-02-28.