Lil' Kim Aims to Be Rap's Martha Stewart

Another rapper, C-Miller (previously known as C-Murder), recorded a large portion of his new album, "The Truest S--t I Ever Said," at Jefferson Parish Jail in Louisiana, where he's serving a life sentence for murder.

At visiting hours, Miller's lawyer would bring a digital recording device, allowing him to hear beats and create rhymes.

The new album sold just under 100,000 copies, far less than his smash hit "Life or Death." but Miller has proven that he's still a viable artist with a loyal following, and his recording methods became the talk of the hip-hop community.

With victims' groups applying pressure to stop inmates from capitalizing on their notoriety, Kim's recent rush to record material is similar to what other artists have done.

Last October, after Beanie Sigel pleaded guilty to weapons charges, he shot five videos in a five-day spurt before reporting to prison. He also finished scenes for his movie, "State Property 2," in which he reprised his role as Beans, an imprisoned drug lord.

At promotional events, Sigel's producer, Damon Dash – who also stars in the "State Property" films &$150; went in his place. Dash also served as supervisor of Sigel's "State Property" clothing line.

Sigel's latest album, "The B. Coming," debuted at No. 3, and it went on to become his first No. 1 on Billboard's rap chart.

Criminal controversy may destroy some artists – and unfairly reward others – but there's also a chance it will have no effect at all on sales.

Philadelphia rapper Cassidy, who's been held in jail on murder charges since April, saw his latest album, "I'm a Hustla," debut at No. 5 on Billboard's Top 200 Album list, with first-week sales of 93,000.

That's a good showing, but not quite as good as his previous release, "Split Personality," which moved 118,000 copies in its first week.

Queen Bee of Hip-Hop

As a multi-platinum star, Lil' Kim will have a tough time matching the success she's enjoyed as the self-proclaimed Queen Bee of hip-hop. The 30-year-old entertainer is also the first female rapper to serve time.

But Kim has a reputation as one of the most business-savvy stars in the music industry, and you can bet that she'll get attention in lockdown just as surely as her eye-popping outfits have stolen eyes on the red carpet. She's already announced that she'll dish out more about her legal travails – and rap rivalries – in an upcoming DVD.

Before heading off to prison, Kim declared herself "a strong woman," in an interview with The Associated Press.

"That's what I am, and that's what it's going to make me – even stronger. The bottom line is, whoever's tried to ruin me, my career and my life, they've done messed up now, because it's only going to make me stronger."

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