Lil’ Kim was legally prohibited from releasing music | Music News

During her sitdown with DJ Envy for MTV’s Sucker Free: Life After Death: 15 Years Later special that aired this past weekend commemorating the crystal anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.‘s sophomore album release, Lil’ Kim revealed that, for a period after her release from prison, she was contractually restricted from selling music.

Kim says that after getting out of jail in 2006 she was unhappy with her label, Atlantic, and wanted to be released from her recording contract.

“I wanted to get off and I didn’t get released, I wasn’t dropping [an album] — I had to pay them. At the end of the day, that takes time; for two years I fought and fought and fought and finally there was a break,” she explained.

That break was an ill-fated deal with the Trackmasters that resulted in even more legal hangups for her recording career.

“Contractually, by the courts, I could not record any music — I wasn’t supposed to put any music out,” Kim said, adding that her Black Friday mixtape was allowed because she was only able to put out free music. “This is something that my fans don’t know, but now you know — legally I was not allowed or able to do music. And I’m not gonna say I’m glad that the lawsuit happened with Trackmasters, but it made me more of a business woman.”

Now that the embargo has been lifted, Kim is back to work on an as-yet untitled fifth studio album. Her last album, The Naked Truth, was released on September 27, 2005, while she was serving a 366-day sentence for a conviction on three counts of conspiracy and one count of perjury related to a 2001 shooting incident in front of the Hot 97 studios in New York. The album received the coveted “5 Mics” rating from The Source magazine, making Kim the only female MC to ever receive the honor.

[Props: AHH]