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Remy Ma


Tuesday 4th, August 2015

Remy Ma

Let Freedom Bang!

By Michael Nguyen

You could imagine Remy Ma wished for a lot of things while

serving her eight-year jail sentence, but post-release, the only

thing she wished for was to have people stop using the term,

“female rapper.” Remy—along with fellow female emcees—just

wants to be respected on the same level as the fellas in this

male-dominated rap industry. While names like Nicki Minaj and

Iggy Azalea have definitely brought respect and credibility for all

the ladies in the rap game, it’s Remy who’s back with a

vengeance and ready to put the rap game in her grips.

After her release—in which she received tons of support from

fans and industry members—you could feel Remy’s on the verge

of a triumphant comeback. Liken it to Kobe Bryant, saying he felt

“like a racehorse that has been locked in a barn for months.” If

that’s the case, the unleashed Remy is ready to come out

sprinting, and she’s already off to a good start, with hard-hitting

verses on hit records such as DJ Khaled’s “They Don’t Love You

No More,” and Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot N***a.”

Keep in mind, while serving all those years kept her away from

the studio, it didn’t keep her from writing down her experiences,

downfalls, and struggles she went through. It’s something she’ll

keep in the back of her mind ‘til the end of time and you can bet

these stories are going to be told the best way Remy can tell

‘em, which is in the studio, over a beat with a microphone. Are

you ready for Remy Ma?

Black Men: Let’s talk about the state of rap. How much do

you feel the game has changed since you’ve been

gone—and, for better or worse?

Remy Ma: I wouldn’t say it’s for better or worse. The people who

are in it have changed but that happens all the time. There are

people who were doing music that aren’t doing it anymore and

there’s others that weren’t in the industry before that have just

came up and got their recognition. I wouldn’t say it’s changed in

a way where the music is better now, but I do see the players in

the game have changed. That’s good. Sometimes you got

people who’ve opened a lane for newcomers. I like that. There

are so many different things going on. Everybody’s not the same.

You got so many different vibes going on.

More specifically, let’s talk about people using the term

“female” rapper. You’re not a big fan of that term, are you?

[Laughs.] No, I’m not. People who use that terminology demean

the female that’s being spoken about from the beginning. Like,

why does it have to be announced as a female rapper? You

don’t say “female doctor” or “female nurse.” It’s just a stigma that

sticks with the word female. You don’t call them “male rappers,”

so I don’t get it.

Does it annoy you that every time you rap, there’s always

people who’ll try and stir the pot by saying that this line or

that line was directed to someone? Whether it’s Nicki or any

other female rapper?

It doesn’t annoy me because that’s what people do. They want to

try and stir things up and cause controversy. What annoys me is

when people should know better than to get into it. That’s the

part that annoys me, when the people who are actually being

talked about—when people come tell me, “Oh, such and such is

talking about you,” I don’t feed into that. I’m a very direct person.

If I have something to say to someone, I’ll say it to them. There’s

ways to handle things. Saying something about someone you

don’t like, that’s corny to me, that’s lame. When other people do

it, even if they were talking about me, I’m never going to take it

seriously because you’re just making a song…you’re playing. If

you got an issue with me, you’ll verbally tell me that.

I watched an interview you did and to paraphrase what you

said in that interview, you basically stated, imagine how

crazy it would’ve been to have Nicki and Kim work together

instead of hating on one another. Why do you think it’s so

hard for rappers nowadays to show love? I’m not talking

about Nicki and Kim specifically, but more in a general

sense.

Right, I don’t know if they hate on each other, but I think that it’s

okay to have competitiveness. It’s okay to know that there’s

competition. What’s not okay is having to tear somebody down to

build yourself up for no reason when they did nothing physically

or directly to you. I think that’s stupid.

I would read interviews and you would talk about labels

worrying about signing a female rapper because of different

factors, mainly females would come in with an attitude or be

divas. But being in the business for a while and having been

around so many male rappers, do you typically encounter

male rappers who act like big divas behind-the-scenes?

Oh, absolutely. They’re worse than girls, but you know, that’s

because they say things like, “Oh, these women are on their

period,” and things like that. The problem is that female artists,

whether it’s a rapper or whatever, we cost money—if you’re

trying to go for that look. For a guy, you can get them a $15 line-

up, a t-shirt and some jeans, the newest sneakers that’s out,

throw in a watch and chain, and you good. As far as females go,

you got the shoes that are $2000 and better, hairstylists, makeup

artist—it becomes very costly. They better be worth it if they’re

investing this money—they don’t want to play around.

Right when you got out, you hopped on a few records like

“Megadeath,” and obviously the Khaled record. How were

you able to just flip that on-switch so quickly without

showing signs of rust?

It’s like a boxer where if they’re not sparring or training, they’re

not practicing. I don’t see how they can step into the ring and not

be rusty. The fight isn’t there and it shows whereas I wasn’t able

to record songs and put records out, but I was always writing. I

was always perfecting my craft, calling home and talking to my

husband [Papoose], or talking to my brothers and seeing what

they have to say. I think that becomes a part of it. You can’t take

off for a year and just do nothing and come back in thinking

everything is going to be like the way you left it. You have to

work your voice and massage your craft and keep going.

Who are some new artists that you’ve discovered and have

been following since your release?

[Long pause.] I don’t know; there are so many people. I’ve been

trying to catch up on the stuff that I’ve missed, and there are

some songs that I really like and I want to see the video to this

record and such. I’m still on that. I haven’t got into all the new

artists that are out. I’ve been watching a lot of battle raps that are

really dope. I’ve been watching both guys and girls and that’s

really cool. They’re not songs and they don’t have record deals,

and that’s interesting to me.

Do you have a favorite song right now?

My favorite song...well, Jeremih’s someone I like. Actually, no,

that’s my favorite when it comes to R&B. But Migos, that “hit ‘em

with the left” [“Fight Night”]. When that comes on, I go crazy. It’s

so hype. Oh, God. I would love to perform that. I could only

imagine.

Maybe there will be a Remy Ma remix in the future?

Oooh, that’ll be hard!

Going back to the recent records you did, those were songs

that you made a guest feature on, but are you now more

focused on yourself and just releasing your own material?

I’m not really focused just on one thing—I’m more all over the

place in an organized way. I guess, by request, everybody just

wants me on this, like the “Hot N***a” track, like, “Please, please

get on this,” and I’m just like, “Alright, let me just do it.” I did that

and the response was crazy, way more than I expected. I’m

working on a mixtape that I want to put out called I’m Around. It’s

definitely an organized confusion. I’m over here, over there, jump

on from track to track, but it’s good. I’m not losing focus on the

primary goal, which is to put out a solid, solo project.

Switching topics now. Would you say that not being able to

see your son on a consistent basis was the most difficult

part about being in prison?

[Sighs.] Definitely. Absolutely. Anybody, my mom, my husband,

my grandparents—not being able to do anything and not seeing

them when you want to, and other things like not being able to

do my hair when I want to—all of that combined just makes you

appreciate life and the privileges I was able to have.

What did prison teach you about people, or more

specifically, your friends and how a relationship with a

friend can change after a life-changing moment?

I never had any issues with my friends, but it did teach me you

have to make wise choices. One, for me, I didn’t realize my

celebrity status until it was taken away in a sense. I kind of know

who I am and know people expect more of me now. I think as far

as people around me, those are people that I love and they

showed me that’s all I need. I didn’t need all this outside stuff

and the fake love.

Finally, what lies ahead in the future of Remy Ma?

It’s just so much that I want to do. First and foremost, I have to

solidify myself in the music world because that’s my core. I

definitely want to branch off and do other things. I’m not sure

what it is exactly that I want to do, but I will like to do things that

are in the TV area, and just try my hand at things I know I can do

if the opportunity presents itself.