Bar for bar, Remy Ma is one of the most talented female rappers ever and very much one of the better NYC-based emcees to come from the hip-hop Mecca within the last decade, male or female. Unfortunately, a missing sum of $3,000 and a shot to someone’s stomach derailed the Bronx-bred rapper’s plans for rap domination. Now that she’s been paroled and getting renewed fame courtesy of her stint as one half of the only sensible couple of Love & Hip Hop: New York, Remy has another shot at music stardom.
As we wait for the release of her new album, let’s take a gander at the musical history of Remy Ma.
Like many an emcee, Remy first started out as a poet, discussing her childhood frustrations on paper before ultimately framing them into raps. As her reputation grew, back when she was destroying local competition under the moniker Remy Martin, she caught the attention of the late Big Pun. Pun heard Rem rap and became her mentor – resulting in her first standout guest appearances on songs (“Ms. Martin” and “You Was Wrong”) from Pun’s Yeaah Baby album in 2000.
In 2014, Martin explained to The Fader: “We went over to Pun’s crib, and when I walk in, he’s sitting in there with boxers on, getting a massage. It’s just mad dudes everywhere. I started rhyming—the verse that I spit for him actually ended up on his album, on the song ‘Ms. Martin.’ But he was just sitting there, like, ‘Aight, okay. That was aight. Here, give me your number.’ That was it. I didn’t expect him to call.
But a couple days later, the phone rang. I pick it up and Big Pun is like, ‘You live in Castle Hill projects right? Come downstairs.’ ‘Downstairs where?’ ‘Out front of your building.’ He’s out there with mad people. He said, ‘You know how to braid? I need my hair braided. Also, we ‘bout to do a video shoot with Jennifer Lopez.’ So I braid his hair, and we go to this shoot, and I’m like, ‘Wow, this is Big Pun, that’s Fat Joe, there’s Jennifer freakin Lopez.’”
Remy went on to say that she was then introduced to Fat Joe as Pun’s artist despite this only being the second time they had been around each other.
Remy also garnered a lot of attention for various scene-stealing appearances on songs like M.O.P.’s “Ante Up (Remix) and Fat Joe’s “We Thuggin’ (Remix).” I dare not exclude tracks like these because New Yorkers will lose their minds. No shade. Respect and all that, y’all.
Following Pun’s death in 2000, Fat Joe signed Remy to his imprint label, Terror Squad Entertainment, and made her the Queen Pen of the Terror Squad crew. Her bars and bravado shined on the ubiquitous 2004 hit “Lean Back” which netted a Grammy nomination and capitulated Remy into wider stardom. Soon came Remy Ma’s 2005 mixtape, Most Anticipated, as well as her 2006 debut album, There’s Something About Remy.
Singles for Remy’s debut album include the saucy “Whuteva.”
And, of course, “Conceited,” which is the favorite among many types of women and gay men – self-included. The album was well-received, but many criticized Remy’s then-label, Universal Records, for poor promotion. Likewise, Remy herself took issue with Fat Joe’s role in the project’s failed roll out.
The two beefed for years trading shots in radio and magazine interviews, but in 2014, Remy spoke to Billboard from prison and explained that the two had made amends. Joe told XXL, “She called me up and we made peace. It was cool with me. I never had a problem. I never hated Remy. I mean, my feelings was hurt with whatever transpired between us. I never hated her. I wished her the best. I’m still rooting for her right now.”
In any event, after Remy left Terror Squad, she released three additional mixtapes, The BX Files, Shesus Khryst, and BlasRemy.
During this period, Remy had other beefs – notably with Lil’ Kim. But you know, they’re good now, too.
And you know, then came the prison sentence.
After that, though, Remy quickly released the 2014 mixtape I’m Around.
And last month, she dropped the new video for the single “Hands Down” featuring Yo Gotti and Rick Ross (insert grunt here). So now, we have to wait for the much-anticipated sophomore album, which one hopes offers Remy trading bars with Lil’ Kim or even Nicki Minaj, the latter of which said she would be down to do (‘cause she loves some Remy). Oh, and her husband, Papoose, of course. Those two are the best couple this franchise has ever had.
I bet they do freestyles as foreplay.