Hard Core

Hard Core

Infobox Album |
Name = Hard Core
Type = studio
Artist = Lil' Kim

Released = November 12, 1996
Recorded = 1995–1996
The Hit Factory
(New York, New York)
Genre = East Coast hip hop
hardcore rap
Length = 49:12
Label = Undeas/Big Beat
Producer = Sean "Puffy" Combs
Jermaine Dupri
Christopher "B.I.G." Wallace
Carlos "6 July" Broady
Stevie J.
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|4.5|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:ex6xlfgehcqq link]
*"Entertainment Weekly" (A) [http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,286336,00.html link]
*"Rap Pages" (favorable) [http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1001105/a/Hard+Core.htm link]
*RapReviews Rating|7|10 [http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_kimhardcore.html link]
*The Source Rating|3.5|5 [http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1001105/a/Hard+Core.htm link]
*SPIN Rating|7|10 [http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1001105/a/Hard+Core.htm link]
Last album =
This album = "Hard Core"
Next album = "The Notorious K.I.M."
Misc = Extra album cover 2
Upper caption = Back cover
Type = studio

Lower caption =
Name = Hard Core
Type = studio
single 1 = No Time
single 1 date = 1996
single 2 = Crush on You
single 2 date = 1997
single 3 = Not Tonight (Remix)
single 3 date = 1997

"Hard Core" is the debut album of rapper Lil' Kim, released November 12, 1996 on the Atlantic subsidiary Big Beat Records. The album was principally recorded at the legendary Manhattan-based studio, The Hit Factory. [ [http://www.nobodysmiling.com/hiphop/news/86554.php Legendary Hit Factory Studio Turning Into Condos....Aug 9, 2006 hip hop news] ] The album was notable for its overt sexual tone and Kim's lyrical delivery, which was praised by music critics soon after its release. [ [http://www.ugo.com/channels/music/features/BandsOnDemand/artist.aspx?artist=lilkim&cat=Hiphop&full=Lil'%20Kim Lil' Kim: ...Read all about Lil' Kim. Get the full history of Lil' Kim, a Lil' Kim discography - at UGO.com] ]

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, until recording her debut album, "Hard Core", at the Hit Factory in New York City. Working with a number of producers, including Sean "Puffy" 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. [ [http://www.starpulse.com/Music/Lil_Kim/Biography/ Lil Kim biography at StarPulse.com] ] Guest artists included Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., and other members of Junior M.A.F.I.A.. [ [http://www.buy.com/prod/hardcore-explicit-version/q/loc/109/60002276.html Buy.com ...Find, shop, and buy computers, laptops, books, dvd, videos, games, video games, music - Hard Core product notes] ] The promotional campaign for the album, including the album cover, featured provocative advertisements of Kim dressed in a skimpy bikini and furs. [ [http://www.hiphopgalaxy.com/Lil-Kim-hip-hop-92.html HipHopGalaxy.com: hip hop and rap music, news...Includes hip hop and rap music culture, news, lyrics, artists, reviews, clothing and more.] ]

Released on November 12, 1996, "Hard Core" became an immediate hit, debuting at #11 on the Billboard 200 chart. The first single from the album, "No Time", a duet with Sean "Puffy" Combs, became a number one rap single. [ [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:wjfqxqugldse~T1 Allmusic.com Lil Kim biography] ] 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". [ [http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1001105/a/Hard+Core.htm CD Universe - Your Online Music StoreShop online at CD Universe for music CDs, movies....] ] "Rolling Stone" concluded in reviewing the album in the magazine's 2004 version of the "Rolling Stone Album Guide" [ [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/lilkim/biography Lil' Kim: Rolling Stone - Rolling Stone gives you total Lil' Kim coverage including... Lil Kim bio] ] :

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 d*** tonight/Eat my p***y 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 d***" in the field. A landmark of bold, hilarious filth.

"Not Tonight" was nominated in 1998 for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The album was certified platinum on June 3, 1997 and then double platinum on March 14, 2001. [ [http://www.riaa.org/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH RIAA searchable database - Sales, certification dates, ...] ]

Track listing


*Lil' Kim - vocals, rapping
*Stretch Armstrong, Corn Bread, Andreao Heard, Carlos Broady, Stevie J., Fabian Hamilton, Ski - producer
*Kenny Ortiz, Phil Tan - engineer
*Sean Combs, Christopher Wallace - executive producer, additional vocals
*Jermaine Dupri - producer, engineer
*Tony Black - engineer, mixing
*James Cruz, Herb Powers, Jr. - mastering
*Junior M.A.F.I.A., Jay-Z - additional vocals
*LaMarquis Mark Jefferson - bass
*Michael Levine - photography


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