Remy Ma: There's Something About Remy: Based on a True Story

When Remy learns to put her impressive vocal abilities behind something worth saying, she's going to be a force.

Remy Ma

There's Something About Remy: Based on a True Story

Label: Universal
US Release Date: 2006-02-07
UK Release Date: 2006-02-07
iTunes affiliate
Amazon affiliate

She wants to make sure you know that There's Something About Remy, and she's going to pound it into your big, fat head. Here's what that something is: she's better than you, she's richer than you, she's a better rapper than you, she's sexier than you, she's better in bed than you, and if you disagree she will beat you, kill you, or cut off parts of you. She's got some skill to back up the claims (at least the rhyming ones -- I can't speak to the other ones), but her insistence on the reminder, the telling over the showing, eventually wears down what could be an impressive solo debut.

Remy Ma sets the tone early on "She's Gone" that she's hard, ripping off an early string of profane suggestions of how real she truly is, with the attitude that matches and a hint of commentary, as when she acknowledges that sex sells, but that she'll leave the stripping to those who can't flow like her (although she'll reverse this idea a few tracks later, claiming pride in having matched her thong to her shoes and saying she needs "a room with a pole in it" and "I was never too proud to show it"). But cut to the chase: she's "the bitch of all bitches", and that's the main thing to remember.

The obssessive self-aggrandizing peaks with "Conceited (There's Something About Remy)", which has lyrics ranging from clever put-downs to trite one-liners. She puts it all bluntly, losing the beat to draw attention on the second half of "Who's that peeking in my window? / No one 'cause I live in a penthouse." Considering she's on the top, she continues coming down to taunt, even going "face down, ass up" to tease; she'd be better off keeping her head about her, because lines like "Your name's 'Q' -- I only see you when I see 'U'" don't cut it. It doesn't matter, though, because Remy's going to work the hottness: "See, I look too good to be fucking you". The important thing isn't that Remy's doing well, it's that you know she's doing better than you.

Too bad that doing better doesn't mean better rhymes. The single "Whuteva" nearly drops the whole album with its absurdity, despite having the biggest party-moving beat on the album (produced by Swizz Beatz and utilizing a sped-up "Night on Disco Mountain"). The problem is obvious: dismissing someone with a "Whuteva" shows an astonishing disregard for expiration date, especially for someone in a field where word play and cutting-edge language are so valued. The bottoming out moment comes when Remy declares, "My spit's so butter, they should call me margarine".

It would be easy enough to just set this in the line of rap focused on partying or bragging, but Remy Ma has more on her mind, and just hasn't made the album that deals with it. "What's Going On" nods to Marvin Gaye's social concerns with its title, but hits on a personal level as she explores the turmoil of an unwanted pregnancy. The production by Che Harris and Joe Davi isn't the album's best, but Remy's openness does it all. In the context of an aggressive, hard album, this song stands out as the product of a complex person, rather than a blunted persona. Other late tracks carry meat, too, like "Guilty, in which her narrator hits someone with her car and reflects on the pool of causes as well as the exacerbating factors (her weed and her gun), without denying her own complicity in the situation. "Still" closes the album with a basic piano loop and meditations on domestic relationships spinning off sadly. With zero melodrama and the same verve that carries the boasts (but with half the ego), Remy Ma delivers a vivid and memorable picture.

Most of those kind of tracks are buried late in the album, as if she could only reveal herself after convincing us how "real" she is (through a mean facade, of course). I've got no interest in hearing Remy make a "conscious" album, but she's got the thoughts to make an album that says something -- that goes for real controversy rather trying to shock with banal lines about sex and gratuitious (and therefore ineffective) language. When Remy learns to put her impressive vocal abilities behind something worth saying, she's going to be a force.


In Americana music the present is female. Two-thirds of our year-end list is comprised of albums by women. Here, then, are the women (and a few men) who represented the best in Americana in 2017.

If a single moment best illustrates the current divide between Americana music and mainstream country music, it was Sturgill Simpson busking in the street outside the CMA Awards in Nashville. While Simpson played his guitar and sang in a sort of renegade-outsider protest, Garth Brooks was onstage lip-syncindg his way to Entertainer of the Year. Americana music is, of course, a sprawling range of roots genres that incorporates traditional aspects of country, blues, soul, bluegrass, etc., but often represents an amalgamation or reconstitution of those styles. But one common aspect of the music that Simpson appeared to be championing during his bit of street theater is the independence, artistic purity, and authenticity at the heart of Americana music. Clearly, that spirit is alive and well in the hundreds of releases each year that could be filed under Americana's vast umbrella.

Keep reading... Show less

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

This week on our games podcast, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

This week, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Keep reading... Show less

Which is the draw, the art or the artist? Critic Rachel Corbett examines the intertwined lives of two artists of two different generations and nationalities who worked in two starkly different media.

Artist biographies written for a popular audience necessarily involve compromise. On the one hand, we are only interested in the lives of artists because we are intrigued, engaged, and moved by their work. The confrontation with a work of art is an uncanny experience. We are drawn to, enraptured and entranced by, absorbed in the contemplation of an object. Even the performative arts (music, theater, dance) have an objective quality to them. In watching a play, we are not simply watching people do things; we are attending to the play as a thing that is more than the collection of actions performed. The play seems to have an existence beyond the human endeavor that instantiates it. It is simultaneously more and less than human: more because it's superordinate to human action and less because it's a mere object, lacking the evident subjectivity we prize in the human being.

Keep reading... Show less

Gabin's Maigret lets everyone else emote, sometimes hysterically, until he vents his own anger in the final revelations.

France's most celebrated home-grown detective character is Georges Simenon's Inspector Jules Maigret, an aging Paris homicide detective who, phlegmatically and unflappably, tracks down murderers to their lairs at the center of the human heart. He's invariably icon-ified as a shadowy figure smoking an eternal pipe, less fancy than Sherlock Holmes' curvy calabash but getting the job done in its laconic, unpretentious, middle-class manner.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.