Artist: Remy MaTitle: There’s Something About Remy: Based on a True StoryRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Jessica Dufresne
There are some harsh realities to being a female MC. Sometimes you can be very talented, but not attractive or sexy enoughso you get no love. On the other hand, you can have no skills but be pretty enough, and get a break. You cant be too hard, because thatll turn off the fellas, but yet if youre too sexy, women will accuse you of setting us back and those same guys wholl love you wont actually be taking you seriously. Fortunately, Remy Ma knows how to straddle the many fine lines, and does it so well that she defies classification as another female rapper.
Rather than depending only on her sex appeal or just how tomboy-ish she is on Theres Something about Remy: Based On a True Story (Terror Squad/SRC/Universal), the BX lyricist realistically balances out the two, which leaves you no choice but to focus on what matters: skills. Using wit, dexterity and just the right amount of braggadocio and social awareness, Based on a True Story is a solid debut after holding fans patience hostage for six years.
The heat begins with a declaration by her mentor, the late great Big Pun that, sometimes you gotta send a woman to do a mans job, which is quickly justified as Remy goes in on Shes Gone. Over a soulfully sinister Buckwild beat, she shows you she can go as hard as her male counterparts and when its over, you believe her when she says theres no b*tch iller than her. More top-notch production by the likes of Cool & Dre, Agallah, and Scram Jones, among other, are the right foundation for Remys flow and spit-fire lyrics. Her versatility shines as well when she softens just a bit on tracks like Feels So Good, featuring Ne-Yo as her persistent love interest, Thug Love, a previously unreleased and Alchemist produced song with Big Pun and the poignant Whats Going On. On the latter, Remy ponders what to do about an unplanned pregnancy while Keyshia Cole wails emotionally on the hook. Also, the highlight of the album, Guilt, is where she displays her storytelling power when youre taken through a first-person account of events leading up to a hit-an-run of a child. Her vulnerability also peeks through on the very personal Still, where she addresses three different people in her life about the pain they caused her.
The only things that drag down the project are ironically enough, the two lead singles, Whateva, produced by Swizz Beatz and Conceited by Scott Storch. But if youre using those to judge her, youre doing yourself a disservice because shes so much more than party rapper.
Based on a True Story proves talent knows no sexual orientation, and finally Remy Ma has the album to back up what Pun (RIP) knew all along.