“The Ruler” Remy Ma sat down with TheYBF.com for an exclusive interview that covered everything from wedding talk and more children to the most important lessons she learned while locked up. She’s now learning about the other important things in life (in addition to her new degree in Sociology) –reality tv and the BLOCK button on Instagram.
Peep Remy’s words of reflection, plus her take on the current tensions surrounding police brutality, inside…
Remy Ma “The Ruler” is back. Now that she’s been released from prison (where she served a 6 ½ year bid), Remy is ready to open up and reflect on her past, discuss her present and shed light on her future as an artist, wife and mother.
In an exclusive interview with TheYBF.com, Remy (wearing a Fendi Jacket, Louis Vuitton scarf and Tom Ford shoes) chatted up YBF’s NY correspondent Jeff J and the current state of hip hop and its competitiveness amongst females, what she plans to teach her son (and other children) about being Black in America, and the biggest lessons about life she learned while being incarcerated.
On what she missed most while being away…
RM: Just my family: My husband, my son, my mom, my sisters and brothers..my grandmother… my friends. A lot of people when we’re out here movin around, we’re so concerned about clothes and name brands (By the way, you don’t have to be fly! Just…if you have on name brands that doesn’t make you fly, I just want to clarify that.) People are so obsessed with things like that, that they forget what’s really important. Believe me, I mean there were times when I would be like “Ugh I would do anything for a heel right now. Im tired of wearing sneakers and boots!” For the most part, I missed my family. I wasn’t thinking about having my beamer and my cell with me! I wasn’t thinking about “Oh, I wish i could get my jewelry box in here” None of those things were important to me. I really wanted my family and my friends: The people I love and care about. So now that I’m able to interact with them freely and see them be around with them, I take it into consideration. I won’t be like “No, I’ll get there next week” or “I’m busy right now” I really take time out to focus on the things that I miss the most and that I cared about as opposed to materialistic things thats really not important.
On why she’ll be more open with her fans…
RM: I think a lot of people, prior to my incarceration didn’t know me as personally as I probably wanted them or needed them to. They only knew one side of me. Just being there, it strips you of everything like LITERALLY sometimes strips you of everything. You know, there’s really no secrets from anybody. I believe going through that, it made me realize that, you know, I want people to know that I was an honor student and that I’m intelligent and that I have a degree in Sociology. I want people to know a difference… and not just “Remy with the g*ddamn diamonds!” (laughs) I just want them to see a different side, because sometimes that helps. If people think that you’re reckless and there’s always gonna be a problem with you, they may not have facts of that but if that’s what they believe, they’ll treat you differently. As opposed to when people, you know, see that you are intelligent and that you have some values and morals about yourself. You get to see a different side of people and how people react to you when they perceive you a certain way.
On foods she missed…
RM: Besides my Popeye’s that everyone knows I love so much, I definitely miss seafood that comes in a hard shell because we can get tuna fish and salmon in a can, but I just… fresh seafood?! You get the whole red snapper with the head still on it fried on the plate, things like that I miss. Everything that you eat [in prison] is pre-cooked. Everything that you eat is pre-packaged. Just having fresh food! When you go on conjugal visits, you can get fresh meat but not anything that comes in a shell. No lobster, no crab, your shrimp has to already be peeled and the tail cut off…It’s NOT the same!
On learning how to navigate new social media
RM: I don’t know, my Instagram followers are crazy! The day before I came home I asked [about her Instagram page] and I had about 25,000 followers. Then, a week after I came home it was like 300,000! I’m like “OK is this good?” and they said: “That’s crazy! You just put up a picture and it’s getting 1,000 likes a minute!” I’m like…Is that good or bad?” They’re like “What?! Go to someone else’s page! They only have 120 likes, and I have 37,000! I just put [the IG post] up 20 minutes ago!” I’m still trying to figure out the dynamics of what’s good and what’s bad. I went and look at somebody like Rihanna’s page, and I’m not doing ANYTHING! Have you seen HER page?!
It’s definitely heart felt and appreciated to see so many people concerned with what I’m doing. The love and support is crazy, and I see it! I was telling someone the other day that I read the comments. If I don’t have anything to do, I’ll sit there and read the comments. It’s not like before when I was here, when Myspace and Facebook were really big and it just seemed like a whole bunch of hate just being spewed through the comments. I’m pretty sure they might get around to it (laughs), I’m not gonna take my foot off the gas just yet, but as of right now everyone is just so positive. Out of 3000 comments it might be about 3 or 4 people that say something that was off the wall. I just go to their page, block them, come back to my page and erase their comment and keep it moving! (Laughs)
On NOT watching reality tv
RM: What’s crazy is that I have yet to sit down and watch any of the reality TV shows! The facility that I was in didn’t have cable, and almost all the most popular ones come on cable channels! I’ve never seen the Kardashians, I’ve never seen Love & Hip Hop, I’ve never seen Honey Boo Boo or the Red Necks or anything! I know about them because I would see them in the magazines, but I’ve never ever seen any of them!
There’s so many of them, but thats what happens when you’re incarcerated! You’re shut off from so many things. I took a class one time, right before I left, prepping you for reintegration. They told me that each year, the way things are moving so fast, that each year you’re away is like missing 5 years of technology. So I’ve missed about 30+ years. Seriously! My transition is a little bit easier because I had people like Pap who’s in the business, and my son who’s a computer genius, teaching me certain things and always keeping me abreast of what was going on. Any new gadget that comes out he’s like “umm Mom, I need to get the such-n-such-n-such, RIGHT NOW, before it comes out!” This was while I was in prison, so I’ll ask “What is that, and what does it do?!” So I kinda had a little head start with certain things. But for the most part, a lot of times, people who are incarcerated, especially anything over 5 years…you’re behind a lot! Not just with social media, just EVERYTHING! The way certain things operate and work, that you would never even think about because you were here while it happened. It just seemed so natural to you.
On the “possibility” of joining a reality show…
RM: Not at this moment. I just really want focus on my music. If I were to do something like a reality show, I wouldn’t want to put myself in a position where it could be any type of crazy chaos. I’m not with that. I don’t want that around me. I don’t want anybody throwing drinks near my face, or spitting in my direction. I don’t even want to see anybody have a fight next to me. I’ve been around so much craziness in the past couple of years, I just want to chill and relax!
If somebody wants to do something to where they’re interested in as far as me and my relationship, and how we interact or reconnecting with my child who was 7 years old when I left and just turned 14 the other day, then alright we can do that. I don’t want to be somewhere that’s gonna have me lookin’ crazy or my people as a whole. That’s not to degrade anybody and what they’re doing, get your money! Some people are cool with that. I’m just not about that no more. That’s not what I want.
On planning a proper wedding with Papoose…
RM: What’s so crazy is I have a wedding magazine in my bag! We just feel like after being through so much…and people that really love us, like our parents, watched me struggle, watched him struggle. We deserve that one day where we can celebrate, not just our love for each other but to be able to stay with it and still feel the way I felt and the way he felt about each other after this whole ordeal. Years and years later and I think we deserve that!
On the possibility of having more children….
RM: Believe me, he’s (Papoose) pressed me more than you can EVER press me right now! He’s very adamant about that. When I was incarcerated, he was like “We should just do it now, and get it out of the way, and you can come home and work” and I was like “Uhh.. I would like to be there and raise my child, nice try though!” I definitely would like to give my husband that, just so that our legacy will live on. I never understood people who say: “I don’t want any kids” So what happens when you’re gone?! Who’s gonna hold the torch for you.
On social issues surrounding police brutality and what she’s teaching her son
RM: Well, the family that I was raised with, we were taught certain morals and certain values. But at the same time, we were always kept aware of what was going on in the world. Just me growing up I knew I had numerous strikes against me because I was black and I was a female. It’s like, you’re at the bottom of the totem pole with those two. As far as my son, he’s VERY aware of what goes on and he realizes that because of his race and because of his gender, he will be stigmatized in a certain way and possibly targeted because of who he is without ever doing anything. It’s very scary as a mom of a young black man thats out here or just even as the wife of a black man. You just always have to make sure that you’re on top of your game. I would never want to see anything happen to my loved ones, or just…anything that’s crazy out there. Even if it’s someone one I don’t know! It’s just a really sad situation, what’s happening out here. Thanks to the things that you mentioned earlier like social media and the inventions like phones that have high definition videos and all them other things, people are able to catch these incidents on video while they’re happening and put it out there, because they BEEN going on! It’s just, there was no outlet to put it out there. When everyone is walking around and everyone on the street is practically a photographer or videographer, it’s getting harder to conceal these things that’s been happening forever with NO justice being served or no repercussions for the people doing these things.
On why she’s NEVER had to diss anyone (and her bars on “They Don’t Love You No More (Remix)”..…
Remy Ma: Well, [the line goes], “While ya’ll was on the TV, I was with the PV’s.” PV’s being parole violators, for people who don’t know. I actually had to fix my brother and Pap about that…nah my brother knew, I think Pap didn’t know. He was like “OH I get it now!” He knew, he just didn’t grasp it right away. But, I’m not talking about anybody in general, its just everybody out doing whatever what they were doing. They were doing what they wanted to do, and I was just stuck in this one spot with people who had been convicted of a crime, and I just feel like to some extent everybody admires somebody. Everybody has little things that they would want to take.
It wasn’t me throwing shots at nobody in particular. There’s certain things that I like about other artists where I’ll say: “That’s dope!” or “She ate that!” depending on what the situation is, so I wasn’t directing that at anybody. What I try to explain to people is that, you’re supposed to say you’re the best! I don’t care what you’re doing you’re supposed to say: “I’m that chick! I’m on top of my game!” Especially if you’re on top of your game! I stay with my finger on the button, ready to go. I was telling somebody the other day they said: “Are you 0-100 real quick?” I said :“Nah, I’m more 52, 59 so I can get there faster. I’ll never go down to 0! I just sit around like this on 59 like ‘What happened?!’ (laughs)” I think that sometimes, people try to take things out of context and try to say: “Oh she was talking about this person” or “Oh she’s dissin this person” I’m not about that. I never had to diss somebody so I could get on, or so that people could pay attention to me. I think that’s corny.
On the BET Award for Best Female Hip Hop Artist…
Remy Ma: Of course I’m eyeing that! What, I’m gonna be like “No, I’m just let her (Nicki Minaj) have it again”? Absolutely not! I’m definitely eyeing it! Like, who doesn’t want to be the best at what they do?! Who doesn’t want the trophies and the awards that come with saying that you’re at the top of the field in whatever game that you’re in. I got my eyes on every achievement that I can get and not just for the females! In general, just in the whole rap situation. Music, period!
Are you excited about Remy’s return?
Photos via Vanessa Clifton, Correspondent: Jeff J