NEW YORK — Remy Ma certainly can dish it — she holds her own alongside Fat Joe and the Terror Squad, squabbles with other female MCs and has no problem stirring up trouble at her record company. But can the foul-mouthed rapper take it?
Last week in Times Square, the Bronx native was on hand at Junior's restaurant as a part of VH1's Hip-Hop Honors festivities for photo opportunities and a sampling of the legendary eatery's fare. And let's just say she had more compliments for the food than, well, anything else.
Remy started out by proclaiming she is unsatisfied with the way her debut album, There's Something About Remy: Based on a True Story, was handled by her label, Universal (the LP has sold a little more than 150,000 copies since its February release). According to her, she provided street singles and hits, but the label failed to provide a proper push. As a result, Remy said she and Universal are currently negotiating her release from the company.
In the meantime, however, Remy is preparing to put together her sophomore collection, Punish-her, which she hopes to release at the top of '07, pending finding a new recording home.
Remy said the album title was inspired by her mentor — fellow Bronx rhyme slinger Big Pun, who died in 2000 from a heart attack — and all the obstacles she's endured so far in her career. "Pun wanted it to be my name," Remy said of the moniker. "He thought of every name except for Remy under the sun. 'Punish-her,' he kept saying, 'That'll be so crazy!' So I kept thinking that's where I want to go for my next album.
"I feel like a lot of times I have to face the mistakes that other people made," she continued, musing on her struggles in the rap game. "And I get the short end of the stick and don't even know why. For every crazy, phenomenal thing that happens, then, like, 10 bad, 'Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening' things happen to me. I feel like the first record was great. Now this time, I want go with the same feeling."
To return to that mindset, Remy has recorded a track that samples the theme music from comedian Martin Lawrence's 1990s sitcom "Martin." She thought the song's refrain, "You so crazy," was fitting since everyone tries to get a handle on her. "I don't listen to my publicist, I fired my stylist," Remy said. "I'm trying to keep it Remy off top."
While she's trying to hold it down on her own, the rapper insisted fans shouldn't expect another Terror Squad album anytime soon with Fat Joe and company. Although Remy said there's still a positive vibe with everyone involved, the group is more a loose collection of individuals more than a crew at this point.
"We don't hang together, but we cool," she explained. "When we see each other, it's whatever. We're not working on an album right now. It is what it is, everyone is doing them. But at the end of the day, it's all love. It's all family.
"But as far as music and recording," Remy admitted. "I don't know what's going on."
Remy and TS may be a bit estranged at the moment, but the rapper is looking to mend fences elsewhere. Her latest project is encouraging women MCs to bond. She disagrees with the notion that there's a lack of female presence in hip-hop, insisting instead that there's a lack of unity among lady rappers. To remedy that, Remy is interested in recording a "John Blaze"-style posse cut and making a street video to accompany the song. She doesn't have any artists in mind yet, but mentioned her close ties to Trina and DTP's Shawna, and also mentioned Jacki-O recently reached out to her to collaborate.
"It's so crazy that a bunch of women get in power and they make it harder for each other," Remy said. "They start making it like the people who made it hard for them. I just want to change that. Ain't nobody really together. I want to change that, and I'm going to change that."