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Lil’ Kim Throws Up the Roc

Lil Kim With J. Cole holding the crown as Roc Nation’s flagship emcee, label head Jay-Z is giving his imprint an estrogen injection. The rapper has reportedly signed Lil’ Kim to his growing roster of artists, with rumors swirling that Hov is set to executive produce the Queen Bee’s fifth album.

This marks a new beginning for Kimberly Jones, who has been in label limbo ever since she severed ties with Atlantic Records in April 2008. Kim was allegedly disappointed with the lukewarm sales of her 2005 album ‘The Naked Truth,’ which, in spite of being deemed a certified classic by renowned hip-hop media outlets, sold a soft 400,000 copies, making it her first album that failed to receive any certification from the RIAA.

Kim has been relatively quiet on the mic since she was released from serving a yearlong prison bid for perjury in July 2006, instead opting to venture into reality TV as a contestant on the eighth season of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ While she’s contributed 16′s to Waka Flocka Flame‘s ‘O Let’s Do It (Remix)’ and Rihanna‘s ‘Hard (Remix),’ Kim has only released one official single, ‘Download,’ since 2006. The track featured T-Pain and Charlie Wilson and peaked at 16 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks.

The signing will come as no surprise for hip-hop aficionados, as Jay-Z and Lil’ Kim’s working relationship extends back to 1996, when the two first collaborated on ‘Big Momma Thang,’ a track off her debut album ‘Hardcore.’ Since then, the pair have traded verses on 1997′s ‘I Know What Girls Like’ and 2002′s ‘Shake Ya Body,’ with Kim making an appearance in the video for Jay’s 2000 single ‘I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me).’

Lil’ Kim’s currently untitled fifth album is expected to hit stores later this year.

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