Three years ago, the future of women in hip-hop seemed real promising. Mixtape addicts everywhere were being blessed with hot freestyles from a bevy of femcees who, for the first time in years, were really giving the fellas a run for their money. Tomboys everywhere celebrated the arrival of real emcees like Lady Luck, Jane Blaze and Vita, who were determined not to sacrifice their talent to the industrys concepts of what a female emcee should be. But somewhere between the beef between Kim and Foxy, the Baddest Bitch, Missy losing weight and Eve becoming a fashion plate and pop icon, all those promising artists got lost.
One artist took that time of confusion in Hip-Hop to study the game and pull ahead of the pack. Remy Martin was the personal pupil of one of the late greats Big Pun. She debuted on the scene with her very own song, not a guest spot, on Puns second album, Yeeeah Babu And, in the event you missed it, she reminded non-believers of her ability by appearing on a track with some of the rowdiest dudes out of Brooklyn, MOPs Ante Up [remix]. But despite having paid her dues and shown her worth, Remy Martin is still fighting for the industry to recognize who she really is. And shes doing all this despite a constant rumor mill that just cant seem to leave her alone.
Over the summer, this rumor mill became extra active. Just weeks after a mixtape DJ erroneously put the word out that Remy Martin was dissing her Terror Squad leader on tape, a robbery attempt in the Bronx had everyone believing the myth that Fat Joe had Remys face slashed. Recently, Remy sat down with AllHipHop.com, granting us the first interview since the incident, to set things straight.
ALLHIPHOP.com: So you had an incident not too long ago? You wanna talk about that?
REMY: We could talk about that, I don't care.
ALLHIPHOP: Aight, so what happened?
REMY: I don't know, I guess niggas was trying to rob me or whatever, and in the process, I got cut in my face. Like, I didn't lose any of my jewelry, no money or nothing. But I did get a little cut on my face. I went fu**in' crazy [laughs]...
ALLHIPHOP: But it was guys that like...
ALLHIPHOP: It was on some straight roberry sh*t?
ALLHIPHOP: Where did it happen?
REMY: In the Bronx.
ALLHIPHOP: Like in the hood or...?
REMY: In the hood. That's where I be all day. Like, I have a serious problem with hangin' in the hood all day.
ALLHIPHOP: So what part of the Bronx is your hood?
REMY: Castle Hill.
ALLHIPHOP: You was born and raised there?
REMY: Yeah, I lived in Queens for a while, in Astoria, Queens. But most of my life I lived in the Bronx in Castle Hill. I lived all over the Bronx, but most of the time, I was in Castle Hill. But since I got cut in my face in Castle Hill: f**k Castle Hill! [Laughs]. Nah, but I got a little animosity towards the hood right now. Nah, but it's nothing, it's minor. Everybody talking like yo, she got a buck fifty.' Niggas say my sh*t is crazy. You can't even really see it and... I just felt violated more than anything.
ALLHIPHOP: People started talking about that in the rumor mill.
REMY: What did you hear?
ALLHIPHOP: I heard it was Terror Squad beef and you was trying to leave Terror Squad.
REMY: Oh, word?!
ALLHIPHOP: Cause over the summer, it was something in a magazine about you and Cuban Link did a record dissing Fat Joe.
REMY: Me and Cuban, we did records. Of course we did records when he was still Squad and everything. But we never did no record together dissing Fat Joe, that was a total lie. And it's not even like really I'm leaving the Terror Squad, it's more like business wise, I have to go other places. Those is my niggas and we cool peoples and all, but I never was signed to Terror Squad. Everybody thinks that, but I was always signed to Loud Records. When Loud Records went under, that's when all my album push back and all that other shit started happening. But I never was signed to Terror Squad, so it has nothing to do with me "leaving" Terror Squad. Its not even like I'm leaving, those is still my niggas, I see them, whatever whatever. It's just business-wise, I don't got no deal right now and Joe can't handle what we need for Remy right now. But I don't think Joe would ever get me cut in my face or plot for me to get... Joe didn't even plot for Cuban to get cut in his face.
ALLHIPHOP: You know everybody in the hood swear they an authority on anybody that's from anywhere even near the hood. People say that you are the nicest female out there rhyming - period.
REMY: [Laughing] I feel the same way.
ALLHIPHOP: Who do you feel is your top competition out there right now? Whether they on the freestyle circuit, whether they signed and out there?
REMY: I think... I been listening to this guy... Joe Budden, some sh*t called "Gangsta" something. Like I really listened to it, Joe is hot. Cassidy spit some sh*t, Cassidy is aight, I like Cassidy. I never heard a whole album or a whole song, but like the freestyles and all that, Cassidy is crazy. Who else do I like? As far as new artists that's up and coming, I can't think of no girls.
ALLHIPHOP: How long have you been rhyming?
REMY: I been rhyming for like 11 years, since I was young like 9, 10, so I got a little depth in it. I ain't gonna say I been dead nice since that long, but like trying, playing with music and putting verses together, about that long.
ALLHIPHOP: When did you start doing freestyles?
REMY: The first thing I did was like 2000... Pun's album, the Yeah Baby! Album. And that's when Pun gave me my own song, the "Ms. Martin" thing, and we did the other song with Drag' On and Fat Joe. And that's basically when it started. Before that I never did a mixtape, I never did nothing. It's like I met Pun and he was like Yo, you on my album. Matter of fact, you gonna get your own song by yourself." So I'd say I had it fairly easy.
ALLHIPHOP: So that's basically how it went down: you met Pun and that's how you ended up with the deal at Loud?
REMY: I met Pun and Pun had flew in Steve Rifkin, at the time who was the head of Loud Records. And him and his brother came in from London, met in a hotel room in White Plains, and I rhymed for him and shit, and he was like Yeah, I like her,' or whatever. But we never really set anything up right then. And before we even got any paperwork, or was like even near paperwork, Pun had passed or whatever. And afterwards, everybody was like I got you, ma.' Everybody had already met me and knew me and they had loved me. So, that's how that whole Loud thing came about. I mean, at the time, I had no idea that 12 18 months from this that the whole label was gonna collapse. But at the time it seemed like a good deal.
ALLHIPHOP: What is your relationship to Fat Joe?
REMY: Okay, me and Joe, we have It's way more than business. It's not business at all, we don't even have a business relationship, truthfully saying. And that's a lot of the reasons why I have to go somewhere else. Because, it gets to a point sometimes when, y'all so cool, like you know, we go to each other house and curse each other out and we have arguments; when it does come to business, it doesn't work good. We on some like sister-brother shit. And it's like, sometimes, we have our arguments and we go through shit, as anybody else do.
ALLHIPHOP: So is he part of the reason you arent out now?
REMY: A lot of it has to do with Joe, and I can also say like I feel like now that he doesn't do 100% the most that he could do. But at the same time he has a lot of people Like I can't even flip like that. Tony Sunshine was down before me, Prospect, Armaggedon, it's a lot of people that come before me. So even if I wanted to flip, they would have way more rights to flip before me. Cuz like I said, I've only been here like, I say three years, but under Joe, two years. Because before, Pun was here! So it's like, I would say, Joe could get 50% of the blame, maybe 55%. When you're the only person who's making money, or you're the only person who's on, you got so many people [waiting to get on].
ALLHIPHOP: So do you have a relationship still with Cuban and Seis and everybody else that left Terror Squad?
REMY: Yeah, I still speak to them. It gets Joe mad. And at one point, it was like Joe please, I knew Cuban before I knew you!' And Cuban never did nothing to me. Personally, I hate the fact that everybody don't get along. It was all love when I came; it wasn't a problem with Seis, with Cuban, with Joe, Pun, nobody. When everything first happened, I tried my best to make them speak again, make everything cool. But it's to the point where now, where it's irreparable.
ALLHIPHOP: It must be a lot of pressure to be the only girl in a squad full of dudes, especially in this line of business.
REMY: If you knew me, you wouldn't say that! All my friends are guys, girls don't like me. I'm mad bossy and girls don't like to listen. But on some other sh*t, it's cool, I enjoy being the only girl. Like they come to me, especially when we on the road, they got any problem with they girl, or they gotta talk to me about any girl sh*t, they be coming to me like "Yo Rem, how do you ask a girl in a nice way to give you head? What's the nice way?'
ALLHIPHOP: So has there ever been any beef that was reported or brought out, like outside of the Terror Squad, involving you?
REMY: Not that I know of, I'm trying to think... It's so much sh*t, you hear so much sh*t. A lot of it isnt true.
ALLHIPHOP: How do you, especially in light getting your face cut, find the balance to still remain grounded but stay a hood celeb?
REMY: It's different now. Truthfully, I don't be in the hood like that, like the past month. And not even by my choice. I got people that care about me like, Rem, you lucky.