Remy Ma Biography
Last updated: 07/31/2014 07:22:32 AM
“There’s Something About Remy:
Based On A True Story”
The rap world as you know it is about to be turned on it’s head. Toss out all of your preconceived notions about what a female rapper is, because Remy Ma is about to shake the game up with the release of her highly anticipated debut solo album, There’s Something About Remy: Based On A True Story. The Bronx diva finally sets out on her own to achieve the respect and success she deserves. "At first I just wanted to be one of the female rappers that was on top, but I don't want that anymore. That's wack," says Remy, who names Queen Latifah, Salt & Pepa, Missy, and Lil' Kim as veterans deserving of respect. "Women in general aren't given much. They are labeled as one of the girls that happened to pick up a mic. I want my skills to measured against all rappers, so to be placed only among the females is limiting. I would feel like that would be cheatin' myself. I want to one day be labeled with the Jada’s, Nas', Pun’s, Pac’s, Big’s and Em’s."
Remy's role as the sole female voice of the Terror Squad (TS) has already propelled her to the spotlight with her released mixtapes produced by DJ Kay Slay including The Best of Remy Ma. She has also appeared on a slew of hit street records including M.O.P.'s smash-hit club remix to "Ante Up" where she wowed street listeners worldwide with a memorable encore verse. She's been featured on songs with a who's who list of rap superstars including Eminem, Lil' Jon, Mase, Big L, D Block, and R. Kelly. In 2004, Remy's smooth, witty flow on the TS single "Lean Back" helped make the song the summer anthem that had everyone from club DJs to radio stations dropping the song hourly. After hitting stores with the TS album True Story, Remy Ma and the group went on to be nominated for a 2005 Grammy nomination - making her the only female to be nominated for a Grammy in that year's ceremony. Her critical acclaim for True Story didn’t end there. She collected wins at The Vibe Awards, The Source Awards, and picked up the "Best Female Hip-Hop" award at the 2005 BET Awards.
Growing up in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx, Remy's upbringing was rough. Dealing with the consequences of drug addiction in her family took a toll on the young Remy who had to look after her four younger brothers and sisters and take care of all household matters at the tender age of twelve. She was forced to assume a great deal of responsibility at a very early age, and was exposed to the worst things one can find in the projects. "I was going to school getting good grades like, 'What am I going for?'" Remy recalls. But a bright mind and a knack for reading and writing was Remy’s saving grace from the troubling realities of “hood life.” Remy had always been an honor student achieving straight A's and landing in classes for gifted students. Writing poetry became her first love; a passion that helped her deal with the ways of the world and the struggles of a young life alone. She directed her fierce rage at the paper, framing her poems into raps that backslapped peers in lunchroom freestyle battles. "It's how I vent," Remy explains. "When I'm mad, I don't want to argue all the time. I grab my pen and I write something; That's how I express myself."
People in the hood talked about the girl from Castle Hill who expressed herself by whipping anyone in a freestyle battle. Word of Remy's lyrical lashings spread though the Bronx and eventually caught the ear of the late great MC, Big Pun. After one meeting and a freestyle session, Pun immediately became her mentor, and with his success, Remy's buzz grew. Pun took the young Remy under his wing and added her on as the sole female member of Terror Squad. Despite all of her quick success came a moment in Remy’s life that put her career temporarily on hold; the sudden passing of Big Pun. Eventually, Fat Joe partnered with Steve Rifkind and signed Remy to SRC Records, his new label with Universal Records.
There's Something About Remy: Based On A True Story is the album Pun had been trying to get out of his female prodigy years ago, so it's no surprise that this project makes history as the only album to have an unreleased Pun verse, on the song "Thug Luv." Produced by the Alchemist, the track tells of an unbreakable bond between a Puerto Rican boy and a Black girl from the Boogie Down. "It's crazy because I remember it so clear when we did it, early 2000. It sounds like we could've done it last week," she says.
Along with showing her softer side on “Thug Luv,” Remy dares to deal with difficult issues on "What's Going On." The track features City High's Claudette Ortiz helping the TS mami discuss the mental fears, ambiguities, and frustrations of a woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. The musical drama continues on "Guilty," which will surely be one of her most riveting and compelling tracks to date, as Remy jumps into the mind of a hit and run perpetrator who's killed a little girl.
Remy doesn’t forget her success with “Lean Back,” and brings the party vibe back on the Swizz Beats produced bass knocker "Whuteva," the first single from There's Something About Remy that's already blazing turntables nationwide. And on "Lights, Camera, Action," producer Scram Jones helps Remy take her sound and lyrics back to the old school. Bringing things back to the modern day grimy ways of the Bronx on "Can't Nobody" Cool & Dre craft up a sinister, yet simple production of cymbals and drum clicks to create the perfect backdrop for Remy's poignant words and hardened persona stand out alone. But even the roughest chick can be tamed. On "Feel So Good," Remy joins Def Jam's newest R&B sensation Ne-Yo (who wrote Mario's smash "Let Me Love You") to help the roughneck lady show her more sensitive side. "It's hard for me to get real gushy gushy on record," she says. "But it's a nice love song, like on some 'I love you, but I'm not sweating you and I won't stab your car tires.' It's nice." On “Conceited," Remy’s confidence, cockiness and sexy spirit is portrayed to a tee. "Every chick that hears this songs is gonna feel like this is her song. I'm happy with the way I look. I feel just fine. I'm not lettin' nobody convince me otherwise."
That's the thing about Remy Ma; you can't knock her focus, because she's too driven to succeed. And you can't stomp her pride, because she's too confident to feel down. There really is something about Remy.