LIL' KIM is convinced her late boyfriend Notorious BIG is behind her current jail stint - because it's the only way he could make her realise that those around her were no good.

The rapper, who started a year-long sentence for perjury last week (ends23SEP05), feels she has to serve her time because it's something her beloved ex demanded of her from beyond the grave.

Kim, real name KIMBERLY JONES, admits she never listened to her ex, who was shot dead a decade ago, when he warned her about certain members of her "family" and somehow created the scenario which led to her jail time to teach her a lesson.

Kim has found herself behind bars for lying about a shooting incident outside a New York radio station in 2001, which involved members of her entourage.

She explains, "A lot of things that happened in my career, he (BIG) told me (about). He tried to warn me about them boys, but I missed it. I didn't understand it as a warning.

"I think it was a point where BIG's spirit felt like, 'She's not gonna leave them boys.' I think he had to make this happen in order for me to get the f**k away from them f**kin' b**tards. On the strength of him I would never have left them.

"I was talking about getting a crib and building everybody a crib on the same f**kin' land."