Junior M.A.F.I.A.

Mentored by larger-than-life rapper Notorious B.I.G., American hip-hop collective Junior M.A.F.I.A. (an acronym standing for Masters At Finding Intelligent Attitudes) served as both an outlet for its member’s raucous street life chronicles and a platform for Lil’ Kim’s solo career. Formed in 1994 Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, its initial lineup consisted of rappers and childhood friends Lil’ Kim, Lil' Cease, Trife, Larceny, Nino Brown, Chico Del Vec, MC Klepto, Capone, and Bugsy. Their debut album, Controversy, came out in 1995 and capitalized on the massive success of Biggie’s Ready to Die, featuring a similar style of production courtesy of DJ Clark Kent, EZ Elpee, Daddy-O, Akshun, and Special Ed. Debuting at Number 8 on the Billboard 200, the full-length spawned the iconic singles “Player’s Anthem” and “Get Money,” a duet between Lil’ Kim and Biggie Smalls that quickly achieved platinum certification. The crew prematurely disbanded following Notorious B.I.G.’s death in 1997, only to return in 2005 with the album Riot Musik. Now composed of Lil' Cease, Klept, and Larceny, the group failed to meet the popularity of their heyday and the long-player only reached Number 61 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Of all of Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s members, Lil’ Kim was by far the most successful one, releasing four Top 20 albums between 1996 and 2005 and even becoming a reality TV personality.

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