New York, NY – We all love comeback stories, and no female hip hop artist has a better comeback story than New York City’s own Remy Ma. This year, Remy has been nominated for two Grammy awards – one for Best Rap Song, and one for Best Rap Performance. Though it wasn’t long ago, that Remy was sitting in a cold, desolate prison cell at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women.
Reminisce Smith, now Reminisce Mackie (after marrying hip hop artist Shamele “Papoose” Mackie), better known to the world as Remy Ma, grew up in the Castle Hill Projects in Bronx, NY. Her upbringing was tough, after being forced to take care of her little sisters and brothers at an early age due to drug abuse complications within her family. To escape her issues at home, Remy took to writing poetry and rap lyrics. A fierce M.C. and battler, Remy’s reputation around the Bronx quickly grew, and eventually word got to no other than the late great rapper Big Pun. Pun took Remy under his wing, and after his death legendary rapper Fat Joe signed her to his label. Soon after, the two smashed the hip hop world with their single “Lean Back“, which got Remy her first Grammy nomination.
Following her debut album release, Remy parted ways with Joe and the Terror Squad, due to frustration of how they were handling her business affairs. Not long after the split, Remy was charged and convicted of assault, illegal weapon possession and attempted coercion, after being accused of shooting a female victim in the torso outside of a Manhattan nightspot. Allegedly, Remy was with a group of people outside of the Pizza Bar around 4:00am, when Remy verbally confronted a woman that supposedly stole $1,000 from her. During the incident, a gunshot went off hitting the accused woman, and later the victim identified Remy as the shooter.
Initially, Remy Ma was looking at a 15-25 year prison sentence. Going away to prison would surely be hard on Remy and her family, but the worst part was Remy would be leaving at the pinnacle of her music career, and when you are gone for a lengthy amount of time and become “out of sight, out of mind” to your fans, your career is pretty much finished (i.e. Shyne). When it was all said and done, Remy ended up serving 6+ years in prison, coming home on August 1, 2014.
Remy hit the bricks running, joining the cast of VH1‘s Love & Hip Hop: New York in 2015. Fat Joe and Remy reconciled their differences, and soon after Joe revealed that he and Remy Ma are releasing a joint album. Joe reported the first single would be “All The Way Up”, featuring French Montana and Infrared. The video was shot and released on February 3, 2016. Jay-Z was featured on the official remix. “All The Way Up” is currently nominated for two Grammy Awards.
Remy’s rise and fall and rise again story is truly inspirational, and we wish Remy nothing but success and happiness. We look forward to seeing Remy on the new season of Love & Hip Hop: NY, and also to hearing her upcoming sophomore album “Seven Winters & Six Summers“.